Buran Orbiter 

Buran Orbiter

The BURAN orbiter is the first reusable manned space vehicle in our country. The BURAN orbiter is the space airplane which may descent from an orbit and land to an airdrome. The BURAN is our first vehicle capable not only to put pay-loads into Space, but also to provide their orbit maintenance and repair as well as return to the Earth.

The BURAN predecessors could execute only separate roles: VOSTOK and SOYUS vehicles were intended only for crew flights, PROGRESS - for cargo delivery onto the orbital station. Put into the orbit by a rocket carrier of the average size they had modest transport potentials. Whereas the cargo flow on the Earth-orbit line increased and the development of a reusable vehicles of large carrying capacity has become inevitable.


The BURAN orbiter is able to put up to 30 tons into Space and to return up to 20 tons of payload to the Earth.

The availability of a cargo compartment of impressive sizes on the vehicle permits to transport orbital station modules or large structures up to 17 m long and 4,5 m in diameter and not only 2-4 crew members but up to 6 passengers can be accommodated in a crew cabin.

BURAN in mounting-test building of Baikonur space vehicle launching site (46248 bytes)

Expendable space vehicles perform a ballistic or sliding descent in the atmosphere and parachute landing. The necessity to provide a space vehicle return from the Space and to bring it to the airdrome forced the designers to decide many complex problems.

The gliding descent from the orbit through dense layers of atmosphere has stipulated the necessity to use a principally new reusable thermal protection system designed to sustain 100 flights. For the BURAN orbiter three kinds of thermal protection have been developed:

- "carbon-carbon" material with maximum operating temperature up to 1650 degrees C for the components with the highest thermal load -the fuselage nose and wing leading edge,
- ceramic tiles for parts heating up to 1250 degrees C,
- flexible material for surface parts with the temperature not higher than 379 degrees C.

All of them surpassed by strength the materials used in the USA Space Shuttle construction.

Compare thermal protection system
USA Space Shuttle Zoom In to 986378, 87 BURAN orbiter

Each of almost forty thousand tiles of ceramic thermal protection had its original geometry differing from the others by plane form, side surfaces view and inside and outside surfaces curvature, availability of cuts and notches.

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The measurements of a real frame surface geometry under each tile in more than 100 points were made to ensure the tiles fitting closely. To execute all this manually was impossible. The special software was developed and as a result form building, manufacturing and installation of tiles were carried out completely on paperless technology without drawings and templates, using the bank data. The bank data is based on the interface between a design office and plants. The data bank information describtes the geometry, technology parameters and materials. More than one billion manufacturing control and testing programmes are automatically generated on the plant.

The BURAN descending from a space orbit passes all possible for an airplane flight performances in the atmosphere starting with large hypersonic (M-25) up to landing (M=0,2) speeds. In this connection the aerodynamic scheme without a horizontal tail with a double swept wing, with elevons, rudder-aerodynamic brake and balance flap as control surfaces has been chosen. This assembly has been worked up during wind tunnel tests and evaluated in the BOR-5 suborbital flying model flights.

After landing

BURAN analogue over airfield in Zhukovsky. FOR SALE!!!!!

For working up the most responsible flight phase - landing approach and landing - the BURAN flying prototype was constructed. In general it distinguished from the orbital vehicle by installation of four turbojet engines and accordingly by capability of an independent takeoff from the airfield. 24 flights were executed on the prototype, in 15 of them completely automatic mode landing was made.

There was no pilot onboard the orbiter but it having made two turns around the Earth completely automatically controlled touched the runway with the accuracy which experienced pilots could envy. It was the first in the world automatic landing of a spaceplane. The SPACE SHUTTLE defaults it so far.

After landing

The BURAN orbiter flight was a necessary step in the space engineering progress but it has left its trace not only in this field. Born in the course of work on the BURAN project new materials, technologies, computer designing methods and equipment components find an application in far, at first sight, from Space branches of economy.

  ""Zoom In to size 2740x1724, 1Mb
We are glad to introduce the last (2.0 release) version of Buran orbiter 3D 'roentgen' sketch.

The main differences between the space aeroplane Buran and Suttle-orbiter are follows:
- the automatic landing of Buran from orbit onto airdrome;
- the absence ot the main rocket engine on the orbital aeroplane. The main engine was placed onto a central block of a carrier-rocket ENERGIA which is able to launch into an orbit 120 tonns of payload against 30 tonns for Space Shuttle;
- the hight lift-drag ratio of the space aeroplane Buran is 6.5 against 5.5 for Space Shuttle;
- the space aeroplane Buran returned 20 tonns of payloads against 15 tonns for Space Shuttle orbiter from an orbit to an aerodrome;
- the cutting lay-out pattern of thermoprotection tiles of Buran is optimal and longitudinal slits of tile belts are orthogonal to the flow line. Sharp angles of tiles are absent. The tile belts of the Buran fuselage and fin have an optimal position.
Compare USA Space Shuttle with Soviet Energia-Buran

book1.gif (12994 bytes)

More detailed information may be found in selected chapters from Aerospace Systems: Book of Technical Papers under edition of G.E.Lozino-Lozinsky and A.G.Bratukhin. - Moscow: Publishing House of Moscow Aviation Institute, 1997. - 416 pp., ill.:

- "Strategy and Prospect of Development of Reusable Space Transport Systems" by Dr. Lozino-Lozinsky G.E.;

- "Creation of the BURAN Spaceship - One of Important Technological Problems of the Aviation Industry" by Dr. Bratukhin A.G.;
- "The NPO MOLNIYA Experimental Plant. Main Direction of Activity" by Bashilov A.S.;
- "Tushinsky Machine-Building Plant" by Zverev N.K., Arutyunov S.G.;
- "Development of Configuration of the Orbital Spaceship" by Ushakov V.M.;
- "Main Aspects of Aerodynamic Designing the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Naboishchikov G.F. (and full Russian COLOR Version);

- "Trajectories of BURAN Orbiter's Descent and Landing Algorithms of the Automatic Guidance and Control" by Dr. Kirpishikov V.P. (and full Russian COLOR Version);
- "Guidance and Control of Orbital Plane" by  Trufakin V.A.;
- "The Full-Scale Stand of the Equipment and the Piloting-Dynamic Training Stand" by Nekrasov O.N.;
- "Simulation on the Piloting-Research Complex in the Cosmonaut Training Center" by Gorbatenko V.V, Shurov A.I., Vaskov A.S.;

- "BURAN Orbiter Horizontal Flight Tests" by General Mikoyan S.A.;
- "BURAN with a Crew on Board" by Bachurin I.I.;
- "Problems and Way of Creation of the Automatic Landing Complex" by Balashov M.P.;

- "Structure of the BURAN Orbiter" by Dr. Tarasov A.T.;
- "The Doors of the Payload Bay of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Stepanov A.P.;

- "Metal Materials in a the Structure of the BURAN Spaceship's Airtrame" by Sergeev K.N., Shalin R.E., Bulgakova S.G.;
- "Non-Metallic Structural Materials of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Gutman I.P., Kulikova G.V.;
- "Non-Metallic Materials in the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Vulfovich L.V., Kurochka G.M.;
- "Automated Technology of Assembly-Welding of the BURAN   Spaceship Cocpit" by Ryazantsev V.I., Kovyazina S.I.;

-"Thermal Designing of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Voinov L.P.;
-"Design and Experimental Development of the BURAN Thermal Protection" by Timoshenko V.P.;
-"The Heat Protection Structure of the Reusable Orbital Spaceship" by Dr. Gofin M.Ya.;
- "Technology for Continuous Structures of Discrete Quartz Fibre" by Prilepsky V.N.;

- "Automated Systems of Designing, Mathematical Modeling and Manufacturing for the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Osin M.I.;
- "Gas Dynamic Non-Stationary Loads on the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Rozanov I.G.;
- "Strength of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship's Structure" by Dr. Tarasov A.T.;
- "Main Directions of Technology Development at Creation of the BURAN Spaceship" by Podkolsin V.G., Chernousov V.N.;
- "Technological Preparation to Manufacturing the BURAN Spaceship" by Chernousov V.N.;

- "Technology of the Indestructible Check and Technical Diagnostics of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Konnov V.V.;
- "Methods and Means of the Pressurization Check for the BURAN Structure" by Chernousov V.N.;
- "Radio-Navigational Maintenance of the Atmospheric Descent and Landing of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Shcharensky V.A.;
- "The Information Display System of Information and Control for the BURAN Reusable Orbital Spaceship" by Mushkarev Yu.G.;

- "The Control of the Onboard Complex of Equipment" by Karimov A.G.;
- "The Electrical Distribution and Switching System" by Kornilov V.A.;
- "Ensuring Electromagnetic Compatibility of the BURAN Equipment" by Kornilov V.A.;
- "Features of the Antennas Installation on the BURAN Orbital  Spaceship" by Kornilov V.A.;
- "Auxiliary Power Plant of the Orbital Spaceship" by Saenko V.I.;

- "Hydraulic System and Drives" by Fomin N.L.;
-"Cabin" by Dr. Fedotov V.A., Novikov V.K. (pictures for this chapter);
- "Ensuring Reliability and Safety of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Chaly B.V., Yarigin Yu.N.;
-"Air Transportation" by Dr. Fedotov V.A. (and full Russian COLOR Version);

- "Landing Complex for the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Yakhno V.A., Studnev V.V.;
- "Experimental Development of the BURAN Orbital Spaceship" by Shabanov V.K.;

- "Conversion of the Aerospace Technologies Assists NPO MOLNIYA to Survive and Return to Space" by Dr. Gofin M.Ya.;

- "Analysis of Various Concepts of the Reusable Space Transportat Systems" by Dr. Dudar E.N.;
- "Horizontal Take-off Two-Stage Aerospace Transport Systems" by Kutyakin E.P.;
- "The SPIRAL Orbital Plane and the BOR-4 and BOR-5 Flying Models" by General Mikoyan S.A.;
- "The MAKS Multipurpose Aerospace System" by Skorodelov V.A.;

- "The MAKS-D Experimental Aerospace System" by Skorodelov V.A.;
- "Thermal Designing of the Orbital Planes" by Voinov L.P.;
- "Gas Dynamic and Thermal Designing of the Aerospace Planes" by Sokolov V.E.;
- "The MAKS Orbital Plane's Wing Deflection as a Means of the Aerodynamic Optimization on All Modes of the Flight" by Terekhin V.A.;
- "The MAKS Flight Performance" by Dudar E.N., Lobzova T.A.;
- "Features of the MAKS Structure" by Dr. Tarasov A.T.;
- "Metal Materials for the Advanced Aerospace Systems" by Sergeev K.N., Bulgakova S.G.;

- "Advanced Non-Metallic Materials for the Cryogenic Aerospace Structures" by Vulfovich L.V., Kurochka G.M.;
- "Features of the Information Provision of the Aerospace System" by Risenberg V.H.;
- "The MAKS Onboard Starting Complex" by Mushkarev Yu.G.;
- "The MAKS Onboard Control Complex" by Balashov M.P., Gordiyko S.V., Karimov A.G.;
- "Main Principles of the MAKS Control Organization" by Nekrasov O.N., Korovin K.G.;
- "Missions of the Aerospace Systems" by Tsarev V.A.;
- "Technical-Economic Investigations on the Efficiency of Reusable Aerospace Systems" by Kosinsky Yu.M.;
- "The Tri-plane Aircraft as the Means of the MAKS Efficiency Improvement" by Dr. Lozino-Lozinsky G.E.;
- "Technical Inventions in the NPO MOLNIYA" by Gusinsky I.I.;

- "Scientific Potential of the NPO MOLNIYA" by Fedotov V.A.

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