What the Soviet Space Shuttle Program Looks Like Today

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.

The construction of the Soviet shuttles proceeded throughout the 1980s, culminating in an unmanned launch of the Buran shuttle in 1988. Many subsequent flights were cancelled due to a lack of funding, but the Buran program equipment remained, taking far longer to deteriorate than the political entity which produced it.


Seeing these hulking machines in a state of utter disrepair makes one consider how technological progress is often at the mercy of politics and even nature itself. It also makes one consider what an incredible paintball park this place would make. [The Mystery World via Charlie Sorrel]


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