Buran- Soviet space shuttle

According to this and many other articles, the soviet space shuttle Buran was going to be recommissioned by the Russian government to help build the ISS, using mainly tourist money. That was in June 2001. As of may 2002, it was going to be auctioned off by a radio station in california. In that same month, I understand a test model was damaged by a collapsing hangar (website ) .

So what happened? Did the tourist thing not turn out so well? and if so, why not? Is it unrealistic to expect the Buran to be recommisioned? It seems I can’t put all the pieces together very well.

At present, it’s being rented out to an Austrailian amusement park.

I still wanna know what happened to that artificial moon thing the ruskies were planning in the late 90’s.

They had problems with it unrolling and IIRC, it fell out of orbit and burned up. They were hoping to give it another try, but so far haven’t. They need to, we’re gonna need one if we ever decided to colonize Mars.

What the hell was it in the first place? I read a vague article about back in '97 or so, and haven’t found anything since.

The idea’s pretty simple: A giant roll up mirror to reflect sunlight onto the dark side of the Earth. The Russians felt that it offered lots of possibilities, one of which being that were a massive disaster to occur, you didn’t have to worry about the sun going down and having a hard time seeing things. You just unroll the mirror and Presto! Instant daylight! The other thing that they thought it might be capable of doing is weather modification and thus enable them to thaw out Siberia for the first time. Since the prototype failed, and they haven’t tried a second test (though it is rumored they’re going to send one to Mars) we don’t know if the second use would work or not.

“Mother Russia will get a warmwater port if we have to build a gigantic mirror to do it!”

I’m a strange, strange man. :smiley:

So I guess that means they aren’t planning on restarting the program anytime soon like they said in their press release? Fooey.
This page is a good one I found.

Or they could adjust the parabola to focus it into a tight beam, turning it into a weapon that could destroy cities. They could hold the world ransom for one million dollars!

That photo looks like one of the test mules. IIRC, there are two still in storage. The orginal one that flew to space and one more that was never flown. I’ll try and dig up a cite this AM.