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BURAN Orbital

Spaceship Airframe

Creation

BURAN orbiter is a manned flying vehicle intended for various cargo and orbital stations crew transportation to an orbit, orbital objects service and their returning to the Earth. That’s why the orbiter has onboard systems that are distinctive for space flying vehicle:

  • Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) for trajectory guidance and angular control in an orbit;
  • payload bay;
  • cabin module with life support system for crew in the space flight conditions;
  • means for docking with orbital objects;
  • radio-engineering and navigation equipment, as well as other systems and units necessary for functioning in an orbit and in an atmospheric flight (Power Supply System, Thermal Control System, Onboard Control Complex etc);

At the same time when returning to the Earth the orbiter during its returning to the Earth makes a glide lowering with the use of aerodynamic lift force and finishes the flight by the horizontal landing on airdrome runway. That’s why BURAN orbiter has like any other airplane a wing, horizontal fin and deflective aerodynamic surfaces for control when recovery to the Earthl. The orbiter has also landing gear.

Like any other recoverable space vehicle, the orbiter when entering the atmosphere faces strong aerodynamic heating that is the reason of Thermal Protection System (TPS) creation. If compared with recoverable vehicles of ballistic type, the BURAN orbiter’s TPS is more complicated and more effective because the winged orbiter has more complicated configuration and is intended for a reusable application.

In this book (not like other books, publications and reference books, that describe subsystems of BURAN) mostly the features that BURAN orbiter has like any other airplane are described. They are flight in the atmosphere and airdrome landing.

Airframe is a base of the BURAN structure. The orbiter an original aerodynamic configuration, intended for the flight with near circular velocities at the upper layers of atmosphere, with hypersonic velocities (in stratosphere), supersonic speed (at approach maneuvering) and with subsonic speed (at targeting to runway and landing). When creating the airframe the specialists solved some technical problems and that provided flight at the heights up to 100 km and at the velocities up to 25…27 Mach number (much more than those achieved by the fighter-interceptors).

The first part of the book describes these problems, their solving methods found by the aircraft industry. There are published the papers of leading NPO MOLNIYA specialists: designers, manufactures and testers of BURAN orbiter and others flying vehicles made during the work on the orbiter’s airframe. In some cases the papers were prepared with the help of specialists from research institutes and co-developer companies, some papers were prepared self-dependently by representatives of organizations, that took part in BURAN orbiter creation.

In the papers main attention is paid to the project newness, to the description of features of the aerospace airframe, that differ if from ordinary planes’ airframes and also from foreign ones. That is why our country original developments such as BURAN orbiter automatic landing after orbital flight, its concept and instrumental support are described in the book. New aerospace technologies are also mentioned. They helped to:

  • form a computer model of the airframe lines;
  • calculate, design and produce without any drawings the multi-mode Thermal Protection System;
  • create all-welded cabin;
  • hold nondestructive control and complex testing for all important units and connections. There are described in the book a unique laboratory and stand base of NPO MOLNIYA, methods and results of simulation at test beds.