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Buran space shuttle celebrates 30th anniversary of milestone flight

November 15, 17:05 UTC+3

The first and only launch of Buran space shuttle took place 30 years ago, on November 15th, 1988

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The moment before launch of the Energia rocket with the Buran spacecraft, 1988
The moment before launch of the Energia rocket with the Buran spacecraft, 1988
The moment before launch of the Energia rocket with the Buran spacecraft, 1988
© Albert Pushkarev, Valentin Kuzmin/TASS
Transportation of the launch vehicle Energia with the Buran spacecraft to the launch pad, 1988
Transportation of the launch vehicle Energia with the Buran spacecraft to the launch pad, 1988
Transportation of the launch vehicle Energia with the Buran spacecraft to the launch pad, 1988
© Albert Pushkarev/TASS
Energia rocket with the Buran spacecraft taking off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, 1988
Energia rocket with the Buran spacecraft taking off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, 1988
Energia rocket with the Buran spacecraft taking off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, 1988
© Albert Pushkarev, Valentin Kuzmin/TASS
Chief designer of the Energia launch system Boris Gubanov and chief designer of the Buran Spacecrafts, manned vehicles and stations Yuri Semenov seen after the landing of the Buran spacecraft, 1988
Chief designer of the Energia launch system Boris Gubanov and chief designer of the Buran Spacecrafts, manned vehicles and stations Yuri Semenov seen after the landing of the Buran spacecraft, 1988
Chief designer of the Energia launch system Boris Gubanov and chief designer of the Buran Spacecrafts, manned vehicles and stations Yuri Semenov seen after the landing of the Buran spacecraft, 1988
© Valentin Kuzmin, Albert Pushkarev/TASS
Mig-25 plane piloted by Magomet Tolboyev accompanies Buran shuttle during its landing, November 15, 1988
Mig-25 plane piloted by Magomet Tolboyev accompanies Buran shuttle during its landing, November 15, 1988
Mig-25 plane piloted by Magomet Tolboyev accompanies Buran shuttle during its landing, November 15, 1988
© TASS
Mria aircraft carries the Soviet space shuttle Buran, flying over Le Bourget airport, north of Paris before it lands on the tarmac for the display at the 1989 Le Bourget Air Show on June 7, 1989
Mria aircraft carries the Soviet space shuttle Buran, flying over Le Bourget airport, north of Paris before it lands on the tarmac for the display at the 1989 Le Bourget Air Show on June 7, 1989
Mria aircraft carries the Soviet space shuttle Buran, flying over Le Bourget airport, north of Paris before it lands on the tarmac for the display at the 1989 Le Bourget Air Show on June 7, 1989
© AP Photo/Michel Lipchitz
Soviet space shuttle Buran, with it's payload bay doors open, is cradled in a maze of scaffolding in a hanger at Baikonur Cosmodrome, 1989, in Kazakhstan
Soviet space shuttle Buran, with it's payload bay doors open, is cradled in a maze of scaffolding in a hanger at Baikonur Cosmodrome, 1989, in Kazakhstan
Soviet space shuttle Buran, with it's payload bay doors open, is cradled in a maze of scaffolding in a hanger at Baikonur Cosmodrome, 1989, in Kazakhstan
Buran space shuttle being transported on a pontoon-boat on the river Rhine heading for the Technik-Museum Speyer in southwestern Germany, 2008
Buran space shuttle being transported on a pontoon-boat on the river Rhine heading for the Technik-Museum Speyer in southwestern Germany, 2008
Buran space shuttle being transported on a pontoon-boat on the river Rhine heading for the Technik-Museum Speyer in southwestern Germany, 2008
© AP Photo/Michael Probst
A woman in a cockpit of the model of Buran space shuttle installed at Baikonur cosmodrome museum
A woman in a cockpit of the model of Buran space shuttle installed at Baikonur cosmodrome museum
A woman in a cockpit of the model of Buran space shuttle installed at Baikonur cosmodrome museum
© AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
A front part of the model of Buran space shuttle being transported along the Kremlin in Moscow, 2014. The space shuttle Buran, displayed in Gorky Park, was moved to VDNKh Exhibition Centre
A front part of the model of Buran space shuttle being transported along the Kremlin in Moscow, 2014. The space shuttle Buran, displayed in Gorky Park, was moved to VDNKh Exhibition Centre
A front part of the model of Buran space shuttle being transported along the Kremlin in Moscow, 2014. The space shuttle Buran, displayed in Gorky Park, was moved to VDNKh Exhibition Centre
© AP Photo/Denis Tyrin
Model of the Buran space shuttle seen on display at VDNKh Exhibition Centre
Model of the Buran space shuttle seen on display at VDNKh Exhibition Centre
Model of the Buran space shuttle seen on display at VDNKh Exhibition Centre
© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS
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The moment before launch of the Energia rocket with the Buran spacecraft, 1988
© Albert Pushkarev, Valentin Kuzmin/TASS
Transportation of the launch vehicle Energia with the Buran spacecraft to the launch pad, 1988
© Albert Pushkarev/TASS
Energia rocket with the Buran spacecraft taking off from the Baikonur cosmodrome, 1988
© Albert Pushkarev, Valentin Kuzmin/TASS
Chief designer of the Energia launch system Boris Gubanov and chief designer of the Buran Spacecrafts, manned vehicles and stations Yuri Semenov seen after the landing of the Buran spacecraft, 1988
© Valentin Kuzmin, Albert Pushkarev/TASS
Mig-25 plane piloted by Magomet Tolboyev accompanies Buran shuttle during its landing, November 15, 1988
© TASS
Mria aircraft carries the Soviet space shuttle Buran, flying over Le Bourget airport, north of Paris before it lands on the tarmac for the display at the 1989 Le Bourget Air Show on June 7, 1989
© AP Photo/Michel Lipchitz
Soviet space shuttle Buran, with it's payload bay doors open, is cradled in a maze of scaffolding in a hanger at Baikonur Cosmodrome, 1989, in Kazakhstan
Buran space shuttle being transported on a pontoon-boat on the river Rhine heading for the Technik-Museum Speyer in southwestern Germany, 2008
© AP Photo/Michael Probst
A woman in a cockpit of the model of Buran space shuttle installed at Baikonur cosmodrome museum
© AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
A front part of the model of Buran space shuttle being transported along the Kremlin in Moscow, 2014. The space shuttle Buran, displayed in Gorky Park, was moved to VDNKh Exhibition Centre
© AP Photo/Denis Tyrin
Model of the Buran space shuttle seen on display at VDNKh Exhibition Centre
© Artyom Geodakyan/TASS

On November 15, 1988, the first and only launch of Buran space shuttle took place. Buran was lifted into space, on an unmanned mission, by the specially designed Energia rocket. Buran was designed to perform up to 100 flights and take a crew of up to 10 people into space. The Buran project involved 1,206 enterprises from all across the Soviet Union. The program was closed in 1993. The creation of the Energiya rocket and the Buran space shuttle became the most impressive program in the history of domestic space rocket-making, with the annual financing volume reaching 1.3 billion rubles by 1985. The Energiya became the first Soviet rocket that used hydrogen in the rocket’s main stage. The Energiya was also the most powerful of domestic rockets, capable of putting into orbit the payload of up to 100 tonnes. 

 

 

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