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(Huffington Post) Photos Show Once-Beautiful Soviet Space Shuttles In Apparently Abandoned Kazakhstan Hangar

The two spaceships are reportedly products of the Soviet Union’s Buran program, which ran from 1974 to 1993. In 1988, the program succeeded in sending an unmanned Buran shuttle in two orbits around the earth in under four hours. That shuttle, called the OK-1K1, was destroyed in 2002 when the roof of the Baikonur Cosmodrome hangar where it was being stored collapsed.

Following the disaster, the OK-1K1’s sister space shuttle (officially called OK-1K2 but nicknamed “Little Bird”) was moved to a different hangar at the launch facility, where it still sits today, according to Ars Technica.

via Photos Show Once-Beautiful Soviet Space Shuttles In Apparently Abandoned Kazakhstan Hangar.

From the “Where are they now?” I remember hearing about the Buran program when I was in college. Buran is a Russian word for blizzards, which was a reflection of how hardy the Soviet Union wanted its shuttles to be. So reliable they could be launched in snow storms. But that never was. I’m actually kind of sorry about that. I’d like to see SOME human nation come up with cheap and reliable space travel. Now my money (metaphorically speaking) is on SpaceX.

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