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 the launch system. The decision to go with development of this system was in 1974-1976 but the program was to gear up. The Buran (snowstorm blizzard) orbiter was not launched atop Energiya launch vehicle until 1988, although Energiya test launch was conducted successfully the Buran in 1987. During the test flight, Buran flew two orbits a crew and successfully returned to This turned out to be the one and only flight. The program put on hold and then cancelled 1993.

Beyond appearances, however, there are several important differences between the two Shuttle systems. the most significant is that the Shuttle was always intended to carry into space but on its only the Buran flew without a crew, it was designed to accommodate human as well. At one level, clearly U.S. Shuttle was designed as a program to the Apollo and Skylab that would send humans aloft on routine basis. As Tom Wolfe described The Right Stuff, the U.S. and aerospace cultures were dominated first by and then by astronauts, so some say that flying people, not just into space was always a priority. is still true today, as NASA's spaceflight efforts on Shuttle and the Space Station spark the public's imagination pave the way politically and budgetarily robotic spacecraft missions, ground-based astronomy, and aeronautics.