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 Energiya-Buran launch The decision to go forward with development of system was made in 1974-1976 but the program slow to gear up. The Buran (snowstorm or orbiter was not launched atop the Energiya launch until 1988, although an Energiya test launch was successfully without the Buran in 1987. During the test flight, Buran flew two orbits without a and successfully returned to Earth. This turned out be the Buran's one and only flight. The was put on hold and then cancelled in

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