Buran-Energia History Timline 1985-1987

SOURCE:  Modified from: Wade's Encyclopedia Astonomica site.

This is a concise history of the Buran-Energia project - From its humble begins in the 1970's through to the epic launch in 1987, and finally through to the program's suspension in 1993. So, lets get started!

Project Timeline:

 

16 February 1987

 Buran Analog BST-02 flight 10 - Launch Site - Baikonur - Time 28 minutes.

25 February 1987

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 11 - Launch Site - Baikonur - Time 19 minutes.

29 March 1987

Buran Analog BST-02 taxi test 7- Launch Site - Baikonur - Time 2 minutes.

30 March 1987

Buran Analog BST-02 taxi test 8 - Launch Site - Baikonur  - Time 25 minutes.

15 May 1987

Polyus Launched on Energia -  Launch Site: Baikonur - Due to delays in completion of the enormous static test facility at Baikonur, which could test the entire Energia vehicle stack, it was decided to launch the vehicle without the verification the tests would provide. The launch of 6SL was planned for 11 May 1987 at 21:30 Moscow time. It was delayed five days when a leak was detected in the Block 3A electrical distribution section, then by another hour due to a fault LH2 thermostat. The launch vehicle performed successfully, but the Polyus payload failed to inject itself into orbit due to a guidance system failure.

21 May 1987

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 12  - Launch Site: Baikonur - Time 20 minutes.


25 June 1987

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 13 - Launch Site: Baikonur - Time 19 minutes.

27 August 1987

BOR-5 Flight 5 - Mass: 1400 kg. Launch Site - Kapustin Yar . Launch Vehicle: Kosmos 65MP - Suborbital test of 1/8 scale model of Buran. Typical trajectory: ascent to 120 km; pitch down to drive model in atmosphere at 45 degree at Mach 18.5. None were reflown but at least 4 were recovered.

05 October 1987

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 14 - Launch Site: Baikonur - Automatic landing. Time 21 minutes.

15 October 1987

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 15 - Launch Site: Baikonur - Time 19 minutes.

16 January 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 16 - Launch Site: Baikonur.

24 January 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 17 - Launch Site: Baikonur. 

23 February 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 18 - Launch Site: Baikonur - Time 22 minutes.

04 March 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 19 - Launch Site: Baikonur - Time 32 minutes.

12 March 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 20 - Launch Site: Baikonur.

 23 March 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 21 - Launch Site: Baikonur.


28 March 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 22 - Launch Site: Baikonur.

02 April 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 23 - Launch Site: Baikonur - Time 20 minutes.

08 April 1988

 Buran Analog BST-02 flight 24 - Launch Site: Baikonur .

 15 April 1988

Buran Analog BST-02 flight 25 - Launch Site: Baikonur .  Time 19 minutes.

22 June 1988

 BOR-5 Flight 6 -  Suborbital test of 1/8 scale model of Buran. Typical trajectory: ascent to 120 km; pitch down to drive model in atmosphere at 45 degree at Mach 18.5. None were reflown but at least 4 were recovered.

15 November 1988

Buran flies in Space - Mass: 79 400 kg. Launch Site: Baikonur . Launch Vehicle: Energia.

Unmanned test of Soviet shuttle. Landed 15 November 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.


29 December 1989

Buran Analog BST-02 taxi test 9 - Launch Site: Baikonur .
 

30 June 1993

Yeltsin cancels Buran project - Buran is seen as having no known mission with the end of SDI and the cold war. In addition the project manager was one of the 1991 coup plotters. Total cost 20 billion rubles at time of cancellation.

13 May 2002

A hangar collapse during a wind storm at the N-1/Energia building at Baikonur destroys Buran 1.01, a Energia test article and kills eight workers.

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