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First, you have to land it on a flatbed. Second, you park the flatbed truck on a barge, and third, you float the vessel along the valley of the river Rhine from Rotterdam to Speyer.

Russian space shuttle 'Buran', been acquired by the Technik Museum Speyer in 2004, on its way to the museum. The shuttle is going to be restored and will be on display soon. The pictures show the passing of the 'German Corner' in Koblenz. The last pic with Stolzenfels Castle in the background is not photoshopped.
 

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GREAT pictures!



The Buran spacecraft (Russian Буран, "Snowstorm" or "Blizzard"), serial number 11F35 K1, was the only fully completed and operational space shuttle vehicle from the Soviet Buran program. It had completed only one (unmanned) spaceflight in 1988 before the shuttle program was cancelled in 1993. It was destroyed when its hangar collapsed.

This must be one of the other ones built or a copy. Nice!
 

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I'm curious - how did it fly unmanned in '88? It wasn't like the original unmanned capsules that feel into the ocean - so how'd they get it to land?
 

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I'm curious - how did it fly unmanned in '88? It wasn't like the original unmanned capsules that feel into the ocean - so how'd they get it to land?
Auto landing isn't really that difficult. Our shuttles do it, lots of aircraft are capable of doing it. It's just that most people don't trust it, so they don't actually use it very often. It really isn't that big of a deal... :shrug:
 

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But the Russians??? ;)
:shrug: Hey, they were "soft landing" their capsules on land while we still splashed down in the ocean with half the Navy for support.

Besides, you can buy a lot of software and adapt it rather easily.


Just a side note.

Back when I worked on the Shuttle (simulating the launches) the next group over (in the next bay) worked on re-entry. The re-entry is automated and the attitude of the shuttle is maintained by computers controlling the Reaction Control System (RCS - the small "rocket" thrusters that are used to maneuver/turn in space) to keep the shuttle "belly down" as it re-entered. It is only in the last part of the decent that the shuttle rotates "nose first" and flays like an air plane.

There was a small problem in that none of the astronauts/pilots could complete a re-entry without running out of fuel when controlling the Shuttle manually. The computers could do it with ease, but the humans failed every time. I don't know if they ever solved the problem - but it was only a problem if all the flight control computers failed and it had to be brought down manually. It was a small possibility, but they trained for it anyway. I suspect that it bruised the astronauts egos that they couldn't out fly the computer...
 

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Great story. I'm always in awe seeing the footage of the shuttle landing - one of the things that blows me away is how the shuttle always lands right where it should - it'd better, there are no go-arounds in that thing...I know it's just celestial mechanics and basic physics, but it's still pretty amazing stuff.

I, too, used to work in aerospace and I worked with some Rockwell engineers, some of whom also worked on the shuttle. They had some good stories too.
 

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Great story. I'm always in awe seeing the footage of the shuttle landing - one of the things that blows me away is how the shuttle always lands right where it should - it'd better, there are no go-arounds in that thing...I know it's just celestial mechanics and basic physics, but it's still pretty amazing stuff.

I, too, used to work in aerospace and I worked with some Rockwell engineers, some of whom also worked on the shuttle. They had some good stories too.
When I worked there, most of the guys that I worked with had been there for the Apollo program. They had some really good stories...

The Shuttle uses a "clever" maneuver to land where it needs to. I giant "S" turn. They had a fancy term for it back then - Terminal Area Energy Management. The Shuttle has a range that it can maneuver to land in - it can only go so far side to side, and it can descend steeper or shallower to shorten or lengthen its range to the landing strip. So they added a giant "S" turn. By making the parts of the "S" longer or shorter, is can greatly increase the range side to side, as well as "how far away" they will touch down. So, if they miss their exact re-entry by a couple hundred miles, they can vary the "S" and land where they need to anyway. Clever guys, those "rocket scientists"...
 

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Wow. The design of that "space shuttle" looks familiar. I wonder where I've seen that before. :shrug:






.
 

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Tidbit of trivia: The rocket boosters on the sides are not what they originally wanted to design. Evidently, they had to be configured based on their maximum diameter as that was the largest that would pass through a series of tunnels when being transported via train. (source: TLC TV) :)
 

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Tidbit of trivia: The rocket boosters on the sides are not what they originally wanted to design. Evidently, they had to be configured based on their maximum diameter as that was the largest that would pass through a series of tunnels when being transported via train. (source: TLC TV) :)
Actually there is a longer story about how the sizing was based on Roman Chariots.

First there were the chariots. Then the roads and ruts in the roads. That set the width of carriages. When they first built trains, the people that made them were the ones that made carriages, so that set the width of the rails, and therefore the width of the train cars. The tunnels were made to fit the train cars, so that limited the maximum size of the rocket booster sections.

Don't know if it's urban legend, completely true, or partly true. But yea, when you build something, you have to include transporting it in the design, and since they were made in an area that required train transportation, that figured into their diameter. The external tank is made near a river and loaded onto a barge for transport, so it's diameter can be larger...
 

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Do you think the shuttle pilots got tired of people asking if it was "kit"?



In "The Right Stuff", I seem to remember the astronauts arguing for a window in the capsule...even tho they weren't flying it. Is this wrong?

Originally, the movie makers wanted to delete the Chuck Yeager stuff from the film.....bad idea, as he provided a lot of wonderful scenes and was the counterpoint to the rest of the movie.

Great autobiography, too.
 

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Thats called a rip off :D

That shuttle was standing in a central moscow park for ages... i didnt even notice it was gone... It ran as an atraction. when i was like 10 i went there and it was like a space flight simulation... and at the end there was a competition... and i won it and they named a star after me :eek:
 

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Actually there is a longer story about how the sizing was based on Roman Chariots.

First there were the chariots. Then the roads and ruts in the roads. That set the width of carriages. When they first built trains, the people that made them were the ones that made carriages, so that set the width of the rails, and therefore the width of the train cars. The tunnels were made to fit the train cars, so that limited the maximum size of the rocket booster sections.
Actually there is a longer story about how the sizing was based on the width of the door opening out of the chariot maker's axle-to-wheel assembly room, but I don't want to go into it....

xtn
 

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Pure coincidence, I'm sure....;)

Just like the western countries' Concorde and the Soviet Unions' knockoff. Can you say "reverse engineering ?"
If immitation is the highest form of flattery, those Soviets really loved western design!



The Concorde vs. Soviet Tupolev TU-144
 

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Actually there is a longer story about how the sizing was based on Roman Chariots.

First there were the chariots. Then the roads and ruts in the roads. That set the width of carriages. When they first built trains, the people that made them were the ones that made carriages, so that set the width of the rails, and therefore the width of the train cars. The tunnels were made to fit the train cars, so that limited the maximum size of the rocket booster sections.

Don't know if it's urban legend, completely true, or partly true. But yea, when you build something, you have to include transporting it in the design, and since they were made in an area that required train transportation, that figured into their diameter. The external tank is made near a river and loaded onto a barge for transport, so it's diameter can be larger...
It basically means that one of the major design features of arguably one of the most advanced transportation vehicles is based on the width of the back end of two horses. It is not an urban legend as the SRBs were originally built by Thiokol and had to go by train through a tunnel. The story is part of the 5Why training I had. The Short version:

1: Transport by train through a tunnel
2: Train tracks built by ex-patriots
3: Track width because of tools used from axle width spacing
4: Axle width spacing matches old roads from their homeland
5: Old roads matches Roman War Chariots which are roughly two horses behinds wide
 

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Pure coincidence, I'm sure....;)

Just like the western countries' Concorde and the Soviet Unions' knockoff. Can you say "reverse engineering ?"
I like the "extra" nozzles on their version. I wonder if they get better control over pitch and angle with all of the nozzles through their guidance system?
 
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