Author Topic: The Buran Thread  (Read 476615 times)

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1020 on: 07/08/2018 12:36 PM »
This is a photo I took of OK-1K2 "Ptichka" still standing in the MKZ building, the similarity to the US design is striking especially in the design of the maneuvering system at the bow of the aircraft...

One correction : Ptichka ("Birdie") was not the name of a specific orbiter, but just a nickname used by engineers to refer to Buran orbiters in general (just like Space Shuttle engineers affectionately called any Shuttle orbiter "the bird"). It's a myth that seems to be hard to eradicate.

The MZK building with the two abandoned Buran orbiters seems to be becoming a very popular target for "urban explorers". This is the third YouTube film I've seen of people illegally entering the building (and there may be more):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=84&v=TMRcpUlSJfE

The Kazakhs should simply open the building for tourists. Of course, that would make it totally unattractive for the urban explorers:-).


Offline pgrossman

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1021 on: 07/08/2018 01:06 PM »
Quote
One correction : Ptichka ("Birdie") was not the name of a specific orbiter, but just a nickname used by engineers to refer to Buran orbiters in general (just like Space Shuttle engineers affectionately called any Shuttle orbiter "the bird"). It's a myth that seems to be hard to eradicate.

The MZK building with the two abandoned Buran orbiters seems to be becoming a very popular target for "urban explorers". This is the third YouTube film I've seen of people illegally entering the building (and there may be more):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=84&v=TMRcpUlSJfE

The Kazakhs should simply open the building for tourists. Of course, that would make it totally unattractive for the urban explorers:-).

Thanks B.Hendrix for the information...From the research I have done over the past several years, it has indicated that each of the orbiters has "official" nicknames...with number 2 being Ptichka and number 3 being Baikal.  Whether they are "official" or not is still a topic of discussion :-). I am working on a larger project (hopefully with official permission) on this topic...

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1022 on: 07/08/2018 01:31 PM »
Baikal was the name that was originally painted on the first flight vehicle, but it was later erased and replaced by Buran.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1023 on: 07/08/2018 04:18 PM »
The MZK building with the two abandoned Buran orbiters seems to be becoming a very popular target for "urban explorers". This is the third YouTube film I've seen of people illegally entering the building (and there may be more):

It seems to be happening at least once a year now. I'd like to see those vehicles displayed properly, even if that just meant putting them in a shed elsewhere on the property (I doubt that the current building is safe). But my guess is that it is much more likely what will happen is that one of these urban explorers will get arrested and thrown in jail for a few years and that will take away the allure of doing these expeditions.

Offline jkumpire

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1024 on: 07/09/2018 01:25 AM »
Just curious,

Is it possible to send the orbiters somewhere like another museum in Russia, or someplace in Europe? I know the cost might be prohibitive, or transport is impossible, or it might be a matter of pride, but better to move them somewhere where they can be preserved than to let them rot away, right?

I would think that the Smithsonian would be glad to take one under its care, but under the circumstances of Russian-US relations it's not possible to happen now or in the foreseeable future.     
« Last Edit: 07/09/2018 01:26 AM by jkumpire »

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1025 on: 07/09/2018 01:58 AM »
Just curious,

Is it possible to send the orbiters somewhere like another museum in Russia, or someplace in Europe? I know the cost might be prohibitive, or transport is impossible, or it might be a matter of pride, but better to move them somewhere where they can be preserved than to let them rot away, right?

I would think that the Smithsonian would be glad to take one under its care, but under the circumstances of Russian-US relations it's not possible to happen now or in the foreseeable future.     

It's money. But even if it wasn't money, there are probably some serious technical issues with ever moving them off-site. I don't think any aviation safety authority would certify them for carrying on the back of the An-225 again. When NASA transported the Enterprise from Washington Dulles to New York City, they had to do a special airworthiness inspection before the FAA would sign off on the flight. FAA gave them a special waiver that was only good for that one flight and specific circumstances. That was it. And the Enterprise had been kept indoors and protected, whereas these vehicles have been abandoned for decades. Yeah, they're indoors, but nobody was looking after them and people have been crawling around inside of them.

Oh, and one thing about the Smithsonian: they don't really have money for acquisitions. They have to get donors or the federal government to provide the funding. So even if they wanted one (and their acquisition interests are for unique and historic/flown vehicles), somebody else would have to come up with the cash. Maybe some Russian oligarch will spend some money to have them rescued and restored on site, but they're in Kazakhstan and Russia and the Kazakhstan governments don't always get along real well.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2018 01:59 AM by Blackstar »

Offline brejol

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1026 on: 07/09/2018 02:04 AM »
This would never be done of course, but would it be possible to get the Buran closest to space worthiness, rebuild it where needed and attach it to an SLS?  Unlike the shuttle, the Buran has no internal engines so weight would be less of a problem.  Maybe offer Putin 200M for it, pull some shuttle engineers out of retirement, get some private investment, and give it a shot.

Offline EspenU

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1027 on: 07/09/2018 02:57 AM »
This would never be done of course, but would it be possible to get the Buran closest to space worthiness, rebuild it where needed and attach it to an SLS?  Unlike the shuttle, the Buran has no internal engines so weight would be less of a problem.  Maybe offer Putin 200M for it, pull some shuttle engineers out of retirement, get some private investment, and give it a shot.
First of all: Why?

While I assume that SLS engineers did not design SLS structurally to take account for a shuttle sized side mounted payload just in case.
The fact that it doesn't have its own engines would be a problem rather than an asset, since the stack would not be balanced with a massively offset CG.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1028 on: 07/09/2018 11:33 AM »
This would never be done of course, but would it be possible to get the Buran closest to space worthiness, rebuild it where needed and attach it to an SLS?  Unlike the shuttle, the Buran has no internal engines so weight would be less of a problem.  Maybe offer Putin 200M for it, pull some shuttle engineers out of retirement, get some private investment, and give it a shot.
First of all: Why?


Right. I mean it is obvious that this is a job for the BFR...

Offline B. Hendrickx

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1029 on: 07/09/2018 12:48 PM »
Just curious,

Is it possible to send the orbiters somewhere like another museum in Russia, or someplace in Europe? I know the cost might be prohibitive, or transport is impossible, or it might be a matter of pride, but better to move them somewhere where they can be preserved than to let them rot away, right?

I would think that the Smithsonian would be glad to take one under its care, but under the circumstances of Russian-US relations it's not possible to happen now or in the foreseeable future.   

There’s never been enough interest and money to turn these two vehicles (2K and 4M) into museum exhibits. First, the Baikonur museum already has a Buran orbiter (a ground test vehicle called 1M or OK-M) and, second, it has become virtually impossible to transport the vehicles to other locations in Russia or abroad. They’re not even owned any longer by the Russian government. RKK Energia, the Russian company that built the vehicles in the 1980s, sold them to a Kazakh company called Infrakos in 2004, which in turn sold it to a Russian-Kazakh company called Aelita a year later.  In 2008 a German technical museum (Technik Museum Speyer) held talks with Aelita on purchasing the two vehicles for $12 million, but the deal reportedly fell through due to  transportation issues.

The only efficient way of transporting the orbiters is by using the Antonov-225 “Mria” cargo plane. I understand that the plane (owned by the Ukrainian company Antonov Airlines) is still being used for commercial cargo flights, so theoretically it could still be used to transport the orbiters. For some reason, though, that was not considered a viable option by the German museum. Perhaps Antonov charged too much or there were technical issues that made this impractical. For instance, a large structure built next to the Baikonur runway is needed to hoist the orbiters atop the aircraft. This structure was not maintained after the cancelation of the Buran project and restoring it to working order may be a costly affair.  In the end, the German museum purchased another Buran orbiter (used for approach and landing tests in the 1980s) that had somehow ended up in Bahrein. It was transported to Germany by boat. 


Offline Archibald

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1030 on: 07/09/2018 04:52 PM »
Now that's an idea, send a Buran to Washington Dulles via suborbital flight launched by a SLS  ;D
...you have been found guilty by the elders of the forum of a (imaginary) vendetta against Saint Elon - BLAAASPHEMER !

Online DaveS

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1031 on: 07/09/2018 05:30 PM »
For instance, a large structure built next to the Baikonur runway is needed to hoist the orbiters atop the aircraft. This structure was not maintained after the cancelation of the Buran project and restoring it to working order may be a costly affair.  In the end, the German museum purchased another Buran orbiter (used for approach and landing tests in the 1980s) that had somehow ended up in Bahrein. It was transported to Germany by boat. 
No need for Mate/Demate Device (MDD, that's what the structures used to mate/demate the orbiters at KSC/EDW was called). Things can be done with commercially available mobile cranes. How else do you think they offloaded Enterprise/Discovery at Dulles and New York? Same for Endeavour at LAX.

Here's a video showing Endeavour being demated from the SCA at LAX:
Attached is a shot of Columbia at White Sands being mated to the SCA for the trip back to KSC after her STS-3 landing there.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2018 05:34 PM by DaveS »
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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1032 on: 11/11/2018 04:23 PM »
Time to bump as this week marks the 30th anniversary of Buran's flight.  :)

https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/1061668010367234048

One question as I wasn't born until the 1990s: When was the first time the program was known to the public in the West? (did it ever made it to the big newspapers or evening TV news?) Hpw much coverage did the flight get in the US, Europe or other places back then? (with Soviets getting a bit more open by then I guess there were some coverage?)
Chinese spaceflight is a cosmic riddle wrapped in a galactic mystery inside an orbital enigma... - (not) Winston Churchill

Online Jorge

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1033 on: 11/11/2018 07:41 PM »
Time to bump as this week marks the 30th anniversary of Buran's flight.  :)

https://twitter.com/Cosmic_Penguin/status/1061668010367234048

One question as I wasn't born until the 1990s: When was the first time the program was known to the public in the West? (did it ever made it to the big newspapers or evening TV news?) Hpw much coverage did the flight get in the US, Europe or other places back then? (with Soviets getting a bit more open by then I guess there were some coverage?)

Depends on how you define "the public". Back then, the types of people who would be on this forum now were getting their information from magazines like Aviation Week and books like The Encyclopedia of Space Technology. Rumors of a Soviet shuttle were known to this crowd as far back as the late 1970s but there was no official confirmation. The 1982 test of BOR-4 was photographed by the Australians and publicized fairly widely. This also threw the public "off the scent" of the actual shape of Buran, and public illustrations of the Soviet shuttle continued to look like BOR-4 for a while.

Official US acknowledgment of the existence of a Soviet shuttle program came in 1983 or 1984 in the pages of Soviet Military Power, an annual DoD publication. The included illustration looked more like the US shuttle than BOR-4. But the DoD was known to deliberately obscure features in their illustrations to keep the Soviets in the dark about exactly how much they knew about the program, so the illustration was not taken 100% literally regarding what the Soviet shuttle looked like.

The first launch of the Energiya rocket in 1987 was widely publicized by the Soviets, including a launch photo that was reproduced in many mainstream publications like Time magazine. This was, I think, the first public acknowledgment *from the Soviets* that they were working on a shuttle. The purpose of the Energiya military payload (Polyus) remained secret for years, as did the details of its failure.
JRF

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1034 on: 11/13/2018 04:25 PM »
I'd really have to look, but I think that there were US newspaper reports by the latter 1970s that the Soviets were "working on their own version of the Space Shuttle."

U.S. intelligence collection on the Soviet space program was very good by the 1970s and particularly the 1980s. Except for a few missteps, the intelligence community had a very good understanding of the Soviet space program, including the shuttle program.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1035 on: 11/13/2018 04:51 PM »
Also:

https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3791895

Interview with a Buran test pilot. Somebody might want to run that through the translator and post the English version here.

Online DaveS

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1036 on: 11/13/2018 05:18 PM »
"For Sardines, space is no problem!"
-1996 Astronaut class slogan

"We're rolling in the wrong direction but for the right reasons"
-USA engineer about the rollback of Discovery prior to the STS-114 Return To Flight mission

Offline Satori

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1037 on: 11/14/2018 11:11 PM »
Happy 30th birthday, Buran.

My article in Portuguese about the development of this amazing spaceship: http://www.orbita.zenite.nu/os-dias-da-tempestade-o-vaivem-espacial-sovietico/

Offline jacqmans

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Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1038 on: 11/15/2018 08:33 AM »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: The Buran Thread
« Reply #1039 on: 11/15/2018 09:20 AM »
I love how much Roscosmos is tweeting for Buran today :)

https://twitter.com/roscosmos/status/1063012540307914752

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