Burana Reusable Spaceplane Project Under Development

A new civilian reusable complex with an orbital aircraft, Burana, is being developed in Russia, said Olga Sokolova, General Director of the NPO Molniya Scientific and Production Enterprise,  a subsidiary of the Kalashnikov conglomerate.


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"Over the past year, we have made significant progress in terms of developing a new aerospace complex for civilian purposes. Until that moment, there were some isolated developments, but there was no clear task. Now the task has been set and the development of a civilian reusable complex with an orbital aircraft is in full swing," Sokolova said.

A full-size model of the Burana spaceplane was presented at the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2020 at a closed pavilion, the development "left a very positive impression on the guests." General Director of NPO Molniya said that the participation in Army 2020 was a landmark event that allowed NPO Molniya to reach a new level in its work.

This is Russia’s first such project since the late Soviet Union’s ill-fated Buran space shuttle. The Molniya facility designed the long-mothballed Buran space shuttle in the 1980s in response to the launch of the U.S. space shuttle programme during the Cold War era. But the Buran flew only once. Though it made a successful return trip from the Baikonur cosmodrome in 1988, the programme went no further because authorities struggled to find a use for the shuttle before the Soviet Union was dismantled and funding dried up.

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