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Archives for 'Buran'

General of the star wars

Some days ago TV Roscosmos published a reporting about space planes, Spiral, BORs, and Buran, and their military implications. Their development were closely linked to the vision of Gleb Lozino Lozinsky (chief of the Buran project) which thought that space travels must be done aboard space planes.

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Buran’s technologies to warm houses


The Moscow’s authorities will ask that the houses will be set with new energy-efficient technologies developped by the All-Russia Research Institute of Aviation Materials, reported the journalists last 20 march during a visit of this institut by the mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

The mayor specified that one of the most important task of the city is to insure a good energy control for heating houses and to promote the use of new technologies. He also added that in 2010 the city will spend more than 8 billion rubles about scientific development which is more than the previous year.

As the institut’s director Yevgeny Koblov said, the discussion will be about the use of materials, developped for the Buran project, to increase the thermal efficiency of the houses. According to him some agreement had already been settled. Moreover, said Koblov, Moscow is considering the utilisation of carbon fibers developped by the institut for the construction of buildings.

The All-Union Research Institute of Aviation Materials was created and attached to the ministry of heavy industry of the USSR in 1932, then to the governement of the Russian Federation.

Other pictures of Buran 2.01

Here is some pictures I took last summer at Tushino (suburbs of Moscow) where the second generation Buran OK-2.01 is stocked, we can see that she is in a pretty bad shape.

Cabin Cabin Fuselage

An unexpected spectacle

Jean Loup Chretien Jean Loup Chretien

Jean-Loup Chrétien went to space on June 24, 1982. He then becomes the first occidental to flight in space (nor Sovietic, nor American) but also the first French cosmonaut. He stayed some days in space aboard the Salyut space station to proceed to experiences for the CNES agency.

In 1988, he had the chance to go again, also with the Soviets, but aboard the brand new MIR station for a joint mission, Aragatz, between France and USSR. The launch date was settled at November 26, 1988, but 11 days earlier another historical event took place.

Jean-Loup Chrétien and his Soyuz TM-7 partners,  Alexander Volkov and Sergei Krikalev, arrived at Baikonur weeks before the launch to finish their training on the cosmodrome. Early in the morning of November 15, they are waken up by the staff of the hotel, which said them that a launch is going to take place. So the small group, the crew, the backup crew and some members of the hotel went upstairs on the building’s roof and watch in the direction of the lunar launch pad enlightening the night. At that time the USSR was in a bad financial state and the Energia-Buran program was suffering financial cuttings, some people said that if the launch doesn’t take place this morning the shuttle will never be launch.

Then suddenly a big light appeared at the horizon. Spectacular and blinding, this light began to go up to the clouds base which it reached in few seconds, going from this incandescent dot to a magnificent light disc which slowly blow out as Buran was mounting in the clouds. Buran lifted off under an awful weather, during an inky night, and must came back to Baikonur just few hours later and succeed her first automatic landing. It’s was also her first flight, without crew onboard. We stayed  disbelieving, and watching during hours the evolution of the weather. It was clear that our russians colleagues had took lots of risks. We learned later that the chances of success were less than 50%. [...]

The local TV  broadcasted the rest of the events. Buran began her reentry in the atmosphere at the right time, and we were watching with anxiety the picture shoot by the television camera orientated to the base of the clouds in the landing strip axis. The ceiling was low, it continued to snow, and a strong crosswind was blowing. Suddenly Buran escaped from the clouds, some 20 to 30 seconds before landing. We were holding our breast and watching this majestic vehicle beginning its circle before touching down. The landing was magnificent, and Buran stopped majestically in a tremendous applause. Ignoring the risks by getting close too quickly, a group of engineers and technicians ran toward this hero to acclaim it with enthusiasm. Vodka was flowing, even knowing that despite her success it should be her last flight.

Extract from the book: Rêves d’étoiles (Dreams of stars), Jean-Loup Chrétien.

Visit of François Mitterrand, for the launch of JL. Chrétien, in the hangar 112.

President Mitterrand Baikonur

Presidential Concorde on the Ybileiniy airport (Buran’s landing strip).

Concorde Baikonur

100 years of Lozino-Lozinsky

Gleb Evgeniyevich Lozino-Lozinsky (December 25, 1909-November 28, 2001) was chief designer of the Spiral and Buran space systems, on last december 25, he should have had 100 years.

After his studies he became a plane engine specialist at the Mikoyan design bureau. During the 60′s he works as chief project on Spiral program, then enter at NPO Molnya as the main constructor of the Buran space shuttle, in the 90′s he will start the MAKC project (small space shuttle).

He was persuated that space travels should be done in winged spacecraft.

Lozino-Lozinsky Lozino-Lozinsky Buran

Here is a reporting that was broadcasted on TVRoscosmos:

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Some detailled parts of Buran 2.01

Here is some pictures I took in the Tushino’s suburbs where Buran OK-2.01 is parked.

Landing gear.
Landing gear Landing gear

Actuator of the vertical stabilizer.


Reinforced Carbon Carbon tile (leading edge of the wing).

Reinforced Carbon Carbon

Braking parachute it’s weighting 175kg and was used to slow down the shuttle after it’s landing. We can see on the third picture the user’s guide.

Parachute Parachute Parachute Parachute

Memorial museum of Astronautics in Moscow

Space conquerors

I recently visited the Memorial museum of Astronautics in Moscow, this museum is located under the Space Conqueror monument near the VDNKh park.
The museum reopened this year (on April 12, 2009) with pomp and circumstance and now exhibit many interesting objects.

The visit starts here.

Interview of Igor Volk

Igor Volk

Here is an interview I had with Igor Volk test pilot of the Buran space shuttle.
He was selected in 1978 to become the chief of the test pilot crew of Buran and flew on the space station Salyut 7 in 1984 to test the aptitude of a cosmonaut to pilot the Buran on the way back.