Soviet Space Shuttle Development and Uses
On November 15, 1988, the world learned that the Soviet Union also had their own space shuttle. It had been secretly under development for well over a decade and it had cost the Soviets billions to build it. Several of the spacecraft were in various stages of construction. But the Soviet shuttle, named the Buran, would only ever launch once. Its development had largely been driven by the need to respond to the perceived military potential of the NASA Space Shuttle.
When the Buran was first launched, the world speculated that it would be used to build Soviet space stations or even assemble spacecraft for a manned mars mission. But as the Soviet Union began to collapse, funding for the Buran program was limited and eventually eliminated.
There’s no denying that the Buran looks very similar to the Space Shuttle. But in many ways, the Buran was quite different from the NASA Space Shuttle. The Buran orbiter didn’t have integrated main engines. Almost all of its lifting power was provided