posted on Jul, 10 2017 @ 09:57 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58
Buran was an incredible piece of engineering, and the capabilities/potential that it and the Energia system offered will forever be one of the
greatest "what if"s of human spaceflight. Right up there with NERVA and the Nova family of rockets.
By relocating the engines to the Energia core, Buran had the potential for MUCH faster turn-arounds of the orbiter between flights, and Energia, by
having the ability to fly entirely on its own, essentially gave the Russians a booster with the potential to do everything that the SLS might do, and
30 or so years ago.
There's a good argument to be made that the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990 was the greatest blow that space exploration had ever seen. Between the
plans that the US had for Space Station Freedom, SDI, and the SLC-6 Shuttle flights, and the plans that the USSR had with Polyus, Energia, Mir 2, and
Buran, it's pretty clear that had the USSR survived, the 90's was shaping up to be another "space race" decade that could well have put the 60's to
If only those @$*%ing reactor operators at Chernobyl hadn't ^*ed up so magnificently, we very well could have had a mars landing by now.