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 the Energiya-Buran launch system. decision to go forward development of this system made in 1974-1976 but program was slow to up. The Buran (snowstorm blizzard) orbiter was not atop the Energiya launch until 1988, although an test launch was conducted without the Buran in During the 1988 test Buran flew two orbits a crew and successfully to Earth. This turned to be the Buran's and only flight. The was put on hold then cancelled in 1993.

Beyond appearances, however, there are important technical differences between two Shuttle systems. Perhaps most significant is that U.S. Shuttle was always to carry people into but on its only the Buran flew without crew, although it was to accommodate human crews well. At one level, the U.S. Shuttle was as a follow-on program the Apollo and Skylab that would send humans on a routine basis. Tom Wolfe described in Right Stuff, the U.S. NASA aerospace cultures were first by pilots and by astronauts, so some say that flying people, just payloads, into space always a priority. This still true today, as human spaceflight efforts on and the International Space spark the public's imagination pave the way politically budgetarily for robotic spacecraft ground-based astronomy, and even