BURAN – Soviet space shuttle that flew only once.

The Buran Project was introduced by the Soviet Union in 1980 in response to the US space program. The Soviet Union spent about 20 billion rubles (275 million) on it.


Construction of the Buran spacecraft began in 1980, and by 1984 the first full scale orbiter had been released. The Buran spacecraft was launched in 1988 aboard the Soviet Union’s super-heavy lift Energia.


With not a single pilot on board, Buran circled the ground twice with a complete remote control system and returned safely. The Buran space shuttle was technically superior to the American space shuttle.

The Soviet Union announced that the next Buran launch would take place in 1993, and that it would be a completely remote-controlled unmanned voyage of 15 to 20 days.

But things did not go as planned. After the first flight, the Buran program was stopped by President Boris Yeltsin on June 30, 1993, due to lack of funds and the political situation in the Soviet Union.

The Buran space shuttle was then transferred to the Bikonur hangar in Kazakhstan. But in 2002, the roof of the Byconor hangar collapsed. The crash killed eight workers and destroyed one of the Buran orbiters.

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