Encyclopedia Astronautica
Energia/Buran


Design version of Energia, with the reusable Buran manned spaceplane mounted to the side of the core.

AKA: Energiya/Buran.
Gross mass: 2,524,000 kg (5,564,000 lb).
Height: 58.70 m (192.50 ft).
Diameter: 7.75 m (25.42 ft).
Thrust: 88,000.00 kN (19,783,000 lbf).
First Launch: 1988.11.15.
Number: 1 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Spacecraft
  • 37KB Russian manned space station module. One launch, 1988.11.15. Carried in the payload bay of the Buran space shuttle. They could remain attached to the bay or (modified to the 37KBI configuration) be docked to the Mir-2 station. More...
  • Buran Russian manned spaceplane. One launch, 1988.11.15. Soviet copy of the US Space Shuttle. Unlike the Shuttle, the main engines were not mounted on Buran and were not reused. More...

See also
  • Energia The Energia-Buran Reusable Space System (MKS) began development in 1976 as a Soviet booster that would exceed the capabilities of the US shuttle system. Following extended development, Energia made two successful flights in 1987-1988. But the Soviet Union was crumbling, and the ambitious plans to build an orbiting defense shield, to renew the ozone layer, dispose of nuclear waste, illuminate polar cities, colonize the moon and Mars, were not to be. Funding dried up and the Energia-Buran program completely disappeared from the government's budget after 1993. More...
  • Winged In the beginning, nobody (except Jules Verne) thought anybody would be travelling to space and back in ballistic cannon balls. The only proper way for a space voyager to return to earth was at the controls of a real winged airplane. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, 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...

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Associated Stages
  • Energia EUS Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 77,000/7,000 kg. Thrust 1,962.03 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 455 seconds. More...
  • Energia Core Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 905,000/85,000 kg. Thrust 7,848.12 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 453 seconds. More...
  • Energia Strapon Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 355,000/35,000 kg. Thrust 7,906.10 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 337 seconds. Essentially identical to Zenit stage 1. More...

Energia/Buran Chronology


1988 November 15 - . 03:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC110L. LV Family: Energia. Launch Vehicle: Energia/Buran. LV Configuration: Energiya/Buran 1L.
  • Buran - . Payload: Buran OK-1K s/n 711. Mass: 79,400 kg (175,000 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Buran. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: Buran. Duration: 0.14 days. Decay Date: 1988-11-15 . USAF Sat Cat: 19637 . COSPAR: 1988-100A. Apogee: 256 km (159 mi). Perigee: 247 km (153 mi). Inclination: 51.6000 deg. Period: 89.50 min. Unmanned test of Soviet shuttle. Landed November 15, 1988 06:25 GMT. Buran was first moved to the launch pad on 23 October 1988. The launch commission met on 26 October 1988 and set 29 October 06:23 Moscow time for the first flight of the first Buran orbiter (Flight 1K1). 51 seconds before the launch, when control of the countdown switched to automated systems, a software problem led the computer program to abort the lift-off. The problem was found to be due to late separation of a gyro update umbilical. The software problem was rectified and the next attempt was set for 15 November at 06:00 (03:00 GMT). Came the morning, the weather was snow flurries with 20 m/s winds. Launch abort criteria were 15 m/s. The launch director decided to press ahead anyway. After 12 years of development everything went perfectly. Buran, with a mass of 79.4 tonnes, separated from the Block Ts core and entered a temporary orbit with a perigee of -11.2 km and apogee of 154.2 km. At apogee Burn executed a 66.6 m/s manoeuvre and entered a 251 km x 263 km orbit of the earth. In the payload bay was the 7150 kg module 37KB s/n 37071. 140 minutes into the flight retrofire was accomplished with a total delta-v of 175 m/s. 206 minutes after launch, accompanied by Igor Volk in a MiG-25 chase plane, Buran touched down at 260 km/hr in a 17 m/s crosswind at the Jubilee runway, with a 1620 m landing rollout. The completely automatic launch, orbital manoeuvre, deorbit, and precision landing of an airliner-sized spaceplane on its very first flight was an unprecedented accomplishment of which the Soviets were justifiably proud. It completely vindicated the years of exhaustive ground and flight test that had debugged the systems before they flew.
  • 37KB module s/n 37070 - . Payload: 37KB s/n 37070. Mass: 7,150 kg (15,760 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: UNKS. Program: Buran. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: 37KB. COSPAR: 1988-100xx.

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