Systems's mains characteristics

Characteristic Orbiter Value Buran Value
Mass of the system at the beginning, t 2046 2350
Thrust at launch, tf 3076 3568
Specification of the Orbiter
Mass at launch, t 109 105
Maximum mass at landing, t 96 87
Payload mass, t 20 30
Volume of the crew cabine, m³ 71 73
Dimensional specifications
Length, m 34.24 36.37
Wingspan, m 23.79 23.92
Height, m 17.25 16.35
Length of the payload bay, m 18.3 18.55
Diameter of the payload bay, m 4.6 4.7?
Quantity of flight 100 100
Mass of the structure, t 68.586 62
Heat shield tiles, number 24000 38600
Circular work orbit, km 185 to 1000 250 to 500
Crew 7 10
Total mass of the 1st stage, t 1180 1490.4
Mass of oxygen, t X 886.8
Mass of kerosene (РГ-1), t X 341.2
Mass of solid fuel, t 950 X
Pulverulent aluminium powder (combustible), % 16 X
Perchlorate of ammonium (combustive), % 69.6 X
Iron oxyde powder (catalyst), % 0.4 X
Polybutadiene Acrylonitrile or Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (polymer), % 12 X
Epoxy curring agent (catalyst), % 2 X
Engine of the 1st stage
Thrust on the sea level (100% thrust), tf X 740
Thrust in vacuum (100% thrust), tf X 806
Total mass of the 2nd stage, t 757 776.2
Mass of oxygen, t ~600 602.775
Mass of hydrogen, t ~100 100.868
Engine of the 2nd stage
Thrust on the sea level (100% thrust), tf 170 147.6
Thrust in vacuum (100% thrust), tf 213 190
Dimensional specifications of the system
Height, m 56.14 58.765
Width, m 23.79 23.92
Dimensional specifications of the 1st stage
Height, m 45.6 39.46
Diameter, m 3.71 3.92
Dimensional specifications of the external tank
Height, m 46.9 58.576
Diameter, m 8.4 7.75
1st stage, flight 20 10
2nd stage (external tank), flight 100 (1) 1
Azimuth of launch, ° 35-120 51-83, 97, 101-104, 110
Minimal duration between 2 consecutive flights, days 25 20

In sum, the Soviets' design of the Energiya as modular ELV was in keeping with their traditional on functionality, versatility, and simplicity. The fact that designed a new rocket engine, with cryogenic liquid no less, for the Energiya instead of adapting previous Soviet rocket speaks to Glushko's political influence the time, as well as a Soviet political that could give one individual so much power. Buran's configuration as a winged, reusable spacecraft is attributable to two factors: the long Soviet history spaceplane concepts and the Soviets' desire to match U.S. Shuttle's capabilities by matching its design.

First, politics inevitably shapes and often dominates the conduct science and technology. The U.S. Shuttle was built designed the way it was for a variety mostly domestic political reasons. While the Buran was heavily affected by domestic politics, its development is more Cold War story of the Soviets competing the United States. During the 1970s, the Apollo-Soyuz Project was the exception that proves the rule superpower competition and the stories of the two conform closely to this rule.