Russian photographer and urban explorer Ralph Mirebs just published one of the saddest photoseries on space exploration. He managed to get inside an abandoned hangar at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, where two Burans—the prototype space shuttles of the Russian space program—are slowly decaying in their burial crypt.
Today is the anniversary of the first and only launch of Buran, the Soviet space shuttle that was arguably better than the American original. The Russian space agency—Roscosmos—has published this video, showing the launch and return to Earth.
Russia's Buran program was very short lived. Like, only one flight short lived. But according to cosmonaut (and ISS alum) Oleg Kotov, the craft had some serious potential—outclassing its American rival at both saving lives and destroying them.
What happens when space programs are left to die? In the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse, the Buran reusable spacecraft program was canceled, leaving the launchpads and equipment to decay.
In the mid-1970s, the Soviets conceived of the Buran program as their answer to NASA and the U.S. Space Shuttle program. Though the ambitious project faltered after only one unmanned flight, many of its remnants still stand spectacularly today.
Looking for a space shuttle to convert into a funky dwelling? Believe it or not, there are quite a few pieces of once cutting edge space technology that have been left to rot. For example: there is a Russian Buran space shuttle lying abandoned in the Arabian desert, a NASA Jet Propulsion Lab sitting in a dusty lot,…
The Buran space shuttle was once the apple of the Soviet space fleet's eye. Unfortunately, it has now been reduced to floating peacefully down the river Rhine, where it will eventually come to rest at the Technik Museum Speyer in Mannheim, Germany. The great shuttle took to the skies only once during an unmanned test…