The tit-for-tat competition between the Soviet Union and the rest of the world is already the stuff of legend. The space race was one of the most public examples, the Concordski one of the more confusing, and the Buran reusable spaceplane program is probably the least well-known. A response to the American space shuttle program, the Buran was a reusable spacecraft designed for use with the Energia rocket that would have flown into space and landed like a glider. Though a single unmanned flight of the Buran was completed in 1988, the craft never flew again and the project completely canceled in 1993.
After nearly two decades of quiet decay, this is how the Buran complex looks today. As NASA’s space shuttle program comes to a close this June, it’s humbling to look at this other ambitious project that is now reduced to rusting wreckage. And besides, everyone loves Soviet ruin-porn.
More pictures after the break.
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