Buran's mains characteristics

Characteristic Value
Maximum mass at the start (1st flight), t 105 (79.4)
Stock of oxygen, t 10.4
Stock of fuel, t 4.1
Payload mass H=200km
Slope of 50.7°, t 30
Slope of 97°, t 16
Landing mass
Nominal, t 82
Maximum, t 87
During flight tests 2
Maximum (without ejector seats) 10
Volume of the crew cabine, m³ 73
Flight duration
Nominal, days 7
Maximum (with full tanks), days 30
Possible slopes of the orbits, in degrees 50.7 à 110
Orbits altitudes
Circular work orbit, km 250 to 500
Maximum (with full tanks), km 1000
During re-entry (maximum), g 2.95
During going down through the atmosphere, g 1.6
Landing speed
Average (with a mass of 82 t), km/h 312
Maximum, km/h 360
For the first flight, km/h 263
Dimensional specifications
Overall length, m 36.37
Length of the fuselage, m 30.85
Width of the fuselage, m 5.5
Wingspan, m 23.92
Wings surface, m² 250
Height from the ground, m 16.35
Length of the payload bay, m 18.55
Diameter of the payload bay, m 4.7?
Quantity of flight 100
Mass of the structure, m 62
Heat shield tiles, number 38600
Minimal duration between 2 consecutive flights, days 20

The former Soviet Union's analogue was Energiya-Buran launch system. The decision go forward with development of system was made in 1974-1976 the program was slow to up. The Buran (snowstorm or orbiter was not launched atop Energiya launch vehicle until 1988, an Energiya test launch was successfully without the Buran in During the 1988 test flight, flew two orbits without a and successfully returned to Earth. turned out to be the one and only flight. The was put on hold and cancelled in 1993.

Beyond appearances, however, there are several technical differences between the two systems. Perhaps the most significant that the U.S. Shuttle was intended to carry people into but on its only flight, Buran flew without a crew, it was designed to accommodate crews as well. At one clearly the U.S. Shuttle was as a follow-on program to Apollo and Skylab projects that send humans aloft on a basis. As Tom Wolfe described The Right Stuff, the U.S. NASA aerospace cultures were dominated by pilots and then by so some might say that people, not just payloads, into was always a priority. This still true today, as NASA's spaceflight efforts on Shuttle and International Space Station spark the imagination and pave the way and budgetarily for robotic spacecraft ground-based astronomy, and even aeronautics.