Russia's Shuttle Remains


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… :slight_smile: 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…

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Thanks for this. Very interesting. I kind of remember hearing about these back in the day. They do look very much like the NASA shuttle.

It really must have been tough as a Russian space person from 1969 onwards… First America beats them to the moon, after they had every other first in space for a decade… then the wall comes down, the empire collapses, and money dries up.

And now China and India are doing more impressive projects in space. Russia is not even in the top 3.

I sort of think these days though, that the masses of money could be better spent in other ares…

We need to become a 2 planet species…

If you’re not or haven’t already, get watching For All Mankind on Apple TV+.

Trust me, it’s a show and a half and will leave you on the edge of your seat waiting for more.

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That’ll never happen…

I think it will, if humanity can manage to quell its innate desire to do harm to ‘the other’. So, in the future it will be either wiped out, or living in Mars colonies. It’s possible (in a couple hundred years or so). I won’t see it, but I’d like to think it could happen. Thats why I read Ben Bova, Kim Stanley Robinson, J.A.Corey and the like

Even if Earth got to the stage that it was unliveable, it would still be more liveable than any of the other planets…

There’s some interesting theories on terraforming Mars… No idea how feasible they are, and i suspect it’ll be a case of humans living in domes on Mars for a very long time… But I do expect to be alive the day mankind steps on Mars… as for having a self-sufficient colony… such that if Earth cops the big one, life will continue regardless… I may not see that day, but I hope my kids do. You know - not so much about my kids being wiped out by an asteroid… lol

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It will be quite a while before any Mars colony could be self sufficient.

Current thinking is that the surface radiation will be too high for long term habitation. We will need to live underground. That is time consuming and expensive to construct.

Consider all the equipment, food, fuel, people, and resources required to establish the colony. Then consider the cost required just to launch all that into space, let alone transport it to Mars and land it successfully. The cost will be extraordinary. Who is going to pay for it? There will be many who will want that money spent to fix the myriad of problems that we have here on Earth.

Just think of all the equipment, material, food, fuel, and technology that is required to be truely self sufficient and to not be dependent on Earth. How will they make all that?

I would love to see a Mars colony. However, even maintaining a tiny dependent outpost will be hugely expensive to establish and maintain.