Encyclopedia Astronautica
1993.06.30 - Yeltsin cancels Buran project


No known mission (with the end of SDI and the cold war) - plus the project manager was one of the 1991 coup plotters. Total cost 20 billion rubles at time of cancellation.

There were several attempts to try to obtain western funding to keep the program going. Energia had developed the 18 tonne Universal Space Platform for launch by Energia into geosynchronous orbit. Talks were conducted with France for its use in a joint project, but they were not interested -- they wanted to use a payload that could be launched by their own Ariane rocket. Bosch discussed using Energia for a large communications satellite, but those talks came to nothing. In 1989 Semenov proposed a military use for the satellite. Soviet forces agreed to the proposal and the Soviet Ministers issued a resolution. But the project had only third priority after Buran and Mir. The Academy of Sciences wanted to develop, in parallel, a radio interferometry platform. This would have used a 25 m diameter and been placed in a 150,000 km orbit. Norway was involved in discussions on the project, but it came to nothing, since the total cost was estimated at $ 1 billion. Ustinov told the space planners that there was no money for their projects -- but he had plenty of money to get 15,000 Russian soldiers killed in Afghanistan. The entire record of the leadership was one of hundreds of failed decisions. Energia could have been used for various interesting projects, including the BKK - Military Space Complex. But in 1990-1991 all programs were cancelled, with the sole exception of the Mir station.

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