ORBITER NAME: BURAN 1.01
CONSTRUCTION DATE: 1986
SPACE FLIGHTS: ONE - NOVEMBER 15th 1988
CURRENT LOCATION: FORMELY ATOP ENERGIA MOCK-UP, N-1/ENERGIYA BUILDING, BAIKONUR SPACE PORT
PICTURE: Buran 1.01 used to site in the MIK building as pictured above.
PICTURE: Buran 1.01 in 1988, being prepped for movement to the launch pad.
PICTURE: The two of us, they'll always be just you and me, the two us... Buran 1.01 as of 1999 was moved to sit atop an Energia HLV mock-up in the N-1/Energiya MIK building at the Baikonur Space Port. This hangar collapsed in 2002, destroying both the Buran and the Energia unit.
The most famous Buran - Buran Space Shuttle 1.01 is the sole orbiter that flew into space back in 1988. Tragically, in a horrible hanger collapse in 2002, this shuttle was destroyed, along with the Energia it sat upon.
Construction of this orbiter, the first of five planned orbiters (of which only two were fully completed) started in 1986, after extensive tests had been carried out on the eight Buran full-size testers.
Buran 1.01 was built largely in Moscow before being transported by an M-3 aircraft for final assembly at Baikonur Cosmodrome. There she was prepped and eventually straddled to the Energia booster system. On November 15th 1988 Buran 1.01 was launched on her first and only mission, a short unmanned two-orbit spaceflight. She landed safely, undamaged, at Baikonur. With the financial problems already being experienced by the Russian space program, however, Buran 1.01 was placed in preliminary storage.
Buran 1.01 was rolled out a year later and flew to Paris aboard the world's largest airplane the massive AN-225 Dream for the 1989 Paris Airshow.
Till recently, Buran 1.01 was still in storage at Baikonur. She sat atop an Energia HLV mock-up in the N-1/Energia Building (on the same booster that was used for vertical interface testing with OK-MT). Buran 1.01 previously resided in the MIK building in climate controlled conditions. That facility has since been used for other purposes. Buran 1.01 is now the sole property of Kazhastan, after being battered in exchange for extended use of Kahzakstan's Baikonur launch facilities.
In 2002, under extreme heavy winds, the roof of the MIK builing collapsed, killing 8 people and destroying Buran 1.01 and the Energia mock-up. It was a tragic loss of life and a piece of space history. The destruction of Buran 1.01 leaves Buran 1.02 as now the sole complete Buran in existence.