Spaceshuttle Buran

One of the highlights of the Technik Museum Speyer (South Germany) and part of Europes biggest spaceflight-exhibition is the Spaceshuttle Buran from Russia. This space shuttle was the result of one of the most ambitious projects in the history of Russian space flight. The huge shuttle is 36 m long, 16 m high and weighs about 80 tons. As was the case with the US model, reusability after near-earth space flights was of major importance. The Buran prototype OK-GLI shown in the museum was built in 1984 and was used for testing glidingflight and landing after reentry into the atmosphere. During this part of the project the OK-GLI completed 25 atmospheric flights between 1984 and 1989 and significantly contributed to the successful orbital flight of a Buran shuttle in 1988.

At the end of the 1980s financing of the Buran project became more and more difficult due to economic problems. After the collapse of the Soviet Union further developments were stopped and finally the whole program was discontinued in 1993.