Encyclopedia Astronautica
BOR-4



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BOR-4 in the shop
BOR-4 in the shop prior to launch
Credit: from Semenov, et. al., Buran, 1995.
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BOR-4 at Berlin
BOR-4 as exhibited at Berlin side view
Credit: Oliver Haa
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BOR-4 at Berlin
BOR-4 as exhibited at Berlin side view
Credit: Oliver Haa
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Uragan / BOR-4
Credit: © Mark Wade
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BOR-4 Recovery
BOR-4 - Photo by Australian P-3 Naval Reconnaissance Aircraft
Credit: NASA
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BOR-4 Recovery
BOR-4 - Photo by Australian P-3 Naval Reconnaissance Aircraft
Credit: NASA
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BOR-4 Model
BOR-4 wind tunnel model used by NASA to study configuration and refine it for use in HL-20/HL-42 vehicles.
Credit: NASA
Russian manned spaceplane. 4 launches, 1982.06.04 (Cosmos 1374) to 1984.12.19 (Cosmos 1614). BOR-4 were subscale test versions of the Spiral manned spaceplanes.

After cancellation of Spiral, they were flown to test heat shield materials developed for Buran. After a circuit of the earth, the spacecraft would deorbit, perform a gliding re-entry, followed by parachute deployment, splashdown in the ocean, and recovery by Soviet naval forces.

In 1973 the VPK initiated the BOR program to accomplish research on a space glider. In order to investigate the hypersonic aerodynamic characteristics and heat shield materials of the manned Spiral OS lifting body, 1:3 and 1:2 scale models of the OS were to be built. Unlike the full-scale model, these were had fixed wings and were designated BOR (unpiloted orbital rocketplane). BOR-1, -2, and -3 were increasingly sophisticated models of the configuration, flown on suborbital trajectories. After the cancellation of Spiral in favor of the Buran, BOR-4 subscale spaceplanes were used to test heat shield materials developed for Buran. Certain essential tests of these heat shield materials could not be done in the lab. These included interaction with the plasma sheath during re-entry, chemical disassociation effects, etc. The BOR-4 was clad in 118 tiles of the type developed for Buran as well as carbon-carbon nose cap and leading edge. These BOR-4 unmanned orbiters were equipped with braking engines. After a circuit of the earth, the spacecraft would deorbit, perform a gliding re-entry, followed by parachute deployment, splashdown in the ocean, and recovery by Soviet naval forces. BOR-4 flew four successful test flights at speeds of from Mach 3 to 25 and altitudes of 30 to 100 km. These test flights confirmed the physical, chemical, and catalytic processes that operated on the selected heat shield materials in the re-entry plasma. BOR-4 also provided important data on the acoustic environment during launch and re-entry. Compared to the Spiral MiG 105-11 EPOS configuration, the BOR-4 had a flattened, wider body with a much smaller vertical stabilizer. The cruise-back turbojet of the 105-11 seems to have been eliminated, and the canted stabilizer tips were cut off at the Mach angle, a MiG trademark.

Gross mass: 1,200 kg (2,600 lb).
Height: 2.80 m (9.10 ft).
First Launch: 1982.06.03.
Last Launch: 1984.12.19.
Number: 4 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • Kosmos 3 In 1961 Isayev and Reshetnev developed the Voskhod space launch system on the basis of the R-14 IRBM. The initial version of the two stage rocket was designated Kosmos-1. The first 'Voskhod' launch complex was at Baikonur, a modification of one of the pads at the R-16 ICBM launch complex 41. More...
  • Russian Rocketplanes The story of rocketplanes and spaceplanes in the Soviet Union was one of constant setbacks due to internal politics, constant struggle with little result. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Kosmos 3 Russian orbital launch vehicle. In 1961 Isayev and Reshetnev developed the Voskhod space launch system on the basis of the R-14 IRBM. The initial version of the two stage rocket was designated Kosmos-1. The first 'Voskhod' launch complex was at Baikonur, a modification of one of the pads at the R-16 ICBM launch complex 41. More...
  • K65M-RB Russian orbital launch vehicle. Two stage vehicle for suborbital tests consisting of 1 x R-14 + 1 x S3M. More...
  • Kosmos 65MP Russian orbital launch vehicle. Adaptation of 11K65M launcher for suborbital and single orbit test of subscale prototypes of Spiral and Buran manned spaceplanes (BOR-4 and BOR-5). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Molniya Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Molniya Design Bureau, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Buran The Energia-Buran Reusable Space System (MKS) had its origins in NPO Energia studies of 1974 to 1975 for a 'Space Rocket Complex Program'. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Matthews, Henry, The Secret Story of the Soviet Space Shuttle, X-Planes Book 1, Beirut, Lebanon, 1994.
  • Pesavento, Peter, "Russian Space Shuttle Projects 1957-1994", Spaceflight, 1995, Volume 37, page 226.
  • Semenov, Yu P, Lozino-Lozinsky, et. al., Mnogorazoviy orbitalniy korabl 'Buran', Mashinostroenne, Moscow, 1995.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Kapustin Yar Russia's first missile test range and used for satellite launches of smaller Kosmos vehicles. V-2's launched from here in 1946 were the first ballistic missiles fired on Soviet territory. It was greatly expanded as the test site for innumerable Soviet intermediate and short range missile projects in the 1950's.. Kapustin Year was also headquarters of the first operational R-1/R-2 units, 1950-1953, and later a base for 12 operational R-14 missile launchers. Kapustin Yar was known to have been used for over 3519 major launches from 1946 to 2007. More...

BOR-4 Chronology


1982 June 3 - . 21:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC107/1. Launch Pad: LC107/pad?. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: K65M-RB.
  • Cosmos 1374 - . Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: Buran. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: BOR-4. Duration: 0.0700 days. Decay Date: 1982-06-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 13257 . COSPAR: 1982-054A. Apogee: 204 km (126 mi). Perigee: 158 km (98 mi). Inclination: 50.7000 deg. Period: 88.10 min. Subscale Spiral spaceplane. After 1.25 revolutions of the earth, deorbited and recovered by Soviet naval forces in the Indian Ocean at 17 degrees South, 98 degrees East, 560 km south of Cocos Islands. Made a 600 km cross-range maneuver during reentry. The recovery was filmed by an Australian Orion reconnaissance aircraft, revealing the configuration to the West for the first time.

1983 During the Year - .
  • NASA Langley begins studies leading to HL-20 - . Nation: USA. Spacecraft: HL-20; BOR-4. The Vehicle Analysis Branch began investigation of the Soviet BOR-4. Small models were tested in NASA wind tunnels and demonstrated that the vehicle had good aerodynamic characteristics throughout the speed range from orbital entry interface to low supersonic speeds. The Soviet design had a 2,040 km cross-range capability and an outstandingly benign thermal profile at peak heating conditions. Therefore Langley adopted it as a baseline for a Crew Emergency Rescue Vehicle to back-up or replace the shuttle after the 1986 Challenger accident.

1983 March 15 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC107/1. Launch Pad: LC107/pad?. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: K65M-RB.
  • Cosmos 1445 - . Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: Buran. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: BOR-4. Duration: 0.0700 days. Decay Date: 1983-03-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 13883 . COSPAR: 1983-017A. Apogee: 208 km (129 mi). Perigee: 158 km (98 mi). Inclination: 50.7000 deg. Period: 88.20 min. Summary: Subscale Spiral spaceplane. After 1.25 revolutions of the earth, deorbited and recovered by Soviet naval forces in the Indian Ocean, 556 km south of the Cocos Islands ..

1983 December 27 - . 10:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC107/1. Launch Pad: LC107/pad?. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: K65M-RB.
  • Cosmos 1517 - . Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: Buran. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: BOR-4. Duration: 0.0500 days. Decay Date: 1983-12-27 . USAF Sat Cat: 14585 . COSPAR: 1983-125A. Apogee: 217 km (134 mi). Perigee: 212 km (131 mi). Inclination: 50.7000 deg. Period: 88.80 min. Summary: Subscale Spiral spaceplane. In a new mission profile, braked out of orbit over the South Atlantic and was recovered in the Black Sea after one orbit of the Earth..

1984 December 19 - . 03:55 GMT - . Launch Site: Kapustin Yar. Launch Complex: Kapustin Yar LC107/1. Launch Pad: LC107/pad?. LV Family: Kosmos 3. Launch Vehicle: K65M-RB.
  • Cosmos 1614 - . Mass: 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MO. Program: Buran. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: BOR-4. Duration: 0.0500 days. Decay Date: 1984-12-19 . USAF Sat Cat: 15442 . COSPAR: 1984-126A. Apogee: 223 km (138 mi). Perigee: 174 km (108 mi). Inclination: 50.7000 deg. Period: 88.50 min. Summary: Last flight of the subscale Spiral spaceplane. Recovered December 19, 1984 5:26 GMT, in the Black Sea after one orbit of the Earth..

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