Nothing Apple today; I just wanted to share these videos that I saw some time ago:
In the 80’s after NASA launched their shuttle program, Russia tried to follow suit with the “Buran”. I first read about the Buran in the 90’s in my school library when I should have been studying… There was a lot of talk about whether or not Russia stole the plans for the Shuttle from NASA, or at least stole some of the software used to fly it… but at the end of the day, the Buran was actually pretty impressive.
I believe 3 shuttles were built, although only 1 ever flew into space. It was an unmanned mission, which I think actually made it more impressive than NASA’s shuttle - to land something like that without a human controlling it! Sadly, before the Buran could move into proper use, the Soviet empire fell, and there was insufficient money to continue the project.
The shuttles I believe were on display initially, however they were then moved into storage in large hangers, that soon fell into disrepair. One of the Buran’s was destroyed a number of years ago when the hanger it was in collapsed. The above videos show the remaining 2 shuttles, located in a hanger in Kazakhstan. The people who took the footage slipped past guards to get inside. They also show the rocket that was built to launch the Buran into space - still intact in the adjoining part of the hanger.
The scale is just insane! You can’t see the rocket terribly well as there’s not much light in that part of the hanger. I have enough problems with heights - I just about die watching the video, thinking - what if that gangway were to break…
I presume that the Russian powers-that-be don’t care for this part of their history, because it’s likely deemed to be a failure, and not something to celebrate. It’s a shame, as whilst they were never used to send cosmonauts to space, they should still be celebrated and maintained. It’s no doubt just a matter of time now before the hanger they are in similarly gives way to nature…