Buran’s only flight

BuranModeled closely after the American Space Shuttle, the Soviet-built orbiter Buran lifts off for its first and only voyage into space. Still in the testing stages, Buran flies completely unmanned, with ground controllers at Baikonur Cosmodrome guiding the vehicle’s every move. With no large engines of its own (unlike NASA’s shuttle fleet), Buran is lifted into orbit solely by the giant Energia booster, makes two orbits, and returns home as a glider. A second flight is scheduled, but before it can take place, the Soviet Union collapses. Buran never flies again.