Redditor JackVernian, whose father had served in the Russian military shared a remarkable look into the country’s secretive Buran “shuttle” programme. The photos reveal the Buran spacecraft being prepared for its second launch. The launch would be abandoned along with the programme as the USSR collapsed around it in the early 1990s.
In his Reddit post, JackVernian describes that his father was a helicopter engineer who assisted “rescue and search for Soviet manned flights and also participated in tracking Buran Shuttle’s progress.” His father was, as a result in a unique position to document this highly secretive chapter in the Russian space programme and document he did.
The amazing series of photos show the scale of the huge launch structure. The vastly different approach to the launch structure of the Russian and American space shuttle programmes is staggering. Once in closer, the Buran shuttle strapped to its Energia rocket is clearly visible in the centre of the launch structure.