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Unused Space Shuttle Capabilities  
User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8171 posts, RR: 54
Posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 10541 times:

Were there things the Shuttle could do, that it never did? Eg leave earth orbit? Fly to the moon or other planets? Or was she at her design limits doing what she did on her 135 missions?


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2392 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10500 times:
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Quoting cedarjet (Thread starter):
Were there things the Shuttle could do, that it never did? Eg leave earth orbit? Fly to the moon or other planets? Or was she at her design limits doing what she did on her 135 missions?

The Shuttle was only intended to reach LEO and had no capability, real, planned or imagined, to go beyond that.

In terms of payload and orbital altitude, while not all missions maxed out the Shuttle's capabilities, quite many did. For example, Hubble is in the orbit it’s in because the Shuttle could not boost it any higher (at least not while retaining enough fuel to deorbit at the end of the mission). Most flight to ISS were some combination of maximum possible payload to the orbit in question, less whatever amount of fuel was deemed desirable for boosting ISS's orbit. Later Shuttle flights flew with tiny launch windows to maximize the excess fuel on arrival at the station in order to maximize the boost possible (which is just using some of the Shuttle's capacity to fly fuel to ISS as cargo, rather than traditional cargo in the cargo bay).

As to unused capabilities... It never made a polar flight (although not all the parts needed for that ever actually existed in flight-worthy form - and the weight gains over the years eventually would have made those impossible, or at least pointless*, anyway), the download capability was rarely used to capacity.


*No point if you couldn’t carry any cargo.


User currently offlinekiwirob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 7670 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10465 times:

Is it true that the Russian Buran shuttle was actually more advanced than the US one? I've heard it many times but have always wondered?

User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3565 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10449 times:
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Quoting rwessel (Reply 1):
which is just using some of the Shuttle's capacity to fly fuel to ISS as cargo, rather than traditional cargo in the cargo bay

Shuttle had no capability to offload fuel to ISS. Shuttle itself was used to reboost ISS & Hubble, fuel margin was needed for that, however no fuel was offloaded as cargo.

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 2):
Is it true that the Russian Buran shuttle was actually more advanced than the US one? I've heard it many times but have always wondered?

By what measure? I think the number of missions actually flown by each program speaks volumes in this regard.

Quoting cedarjet (Thread starter):
Were there things the Shuttle could do, that it never did?

Two big ones: Crossrange capability during entry & polar orbit capability (as previously mentioned)

USAF demanded the cross range capability so their polar orbiter could launch, do one orbit, drop off a satellite or abort, and then land at the same base it took off from (which had now rotated 1200 or so miles to the east of the orbital plane & reentry ground track). This capability required the large delta wing which negatively impacted payload to orbit (big deltas are heavy as compared to the alternative). My guess is the Soviets interpreted this as a weapons capability and thus started their own program to counter.



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User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6515 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10348 times:

The Shuttle cargo bay was somewhat tailored to hold the cryogenic fueled Centaur upper stage for interplanetary flights and heavy geostationary satellites. The Centaur already had a bright history as a very capable upper stage on various Atlas and Titan launchers.

Mating of Shuttle and Centaur was a major undertaking which suffered long delays. One very demanding feature was that the Centaur fuel had to be dumped in case of an aborted takeoff. If memory serves me well, then the plan was to only modify one shuttle to be capable of flying with Centaur.

Following the Challenger disaster in 1986 that was deemed too risky, and a minor range of less capable solid fuel upper stages were developed as substitute.

First planned use of Centaur on the Shuttle was the Galileo Jupiter mission. Galileo was changed to use a much less powerful Inertial Upper Stage solid fuel booster, and instead of a direct flight to Jupiter it made a much longer lasting flight with multiple gravitational slingshots from Venus and Earth.

Cancellation of the Shuttle-Centaur combination on the other hand gave birth to the Titan IV program. The Centaur is still being used on Atlas V launchers today. Many details have been changed since the first blueprints were drawn in 1956 and first flight in 1965, but conceptually it is very much unchanged.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2392 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 10285 times:
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Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 3):
Shuttle had no capability to offload fuel to ISS. Shuttle itself was used to reboost ISS & Hubble, fuel margin was needed for that, however no fuel was offloaded as cargo.

I never meant to imply that it could offload fuel to ISS, rather that the fuel burned (on the Shuttle) to do the reboost was effectively cargo (mass) being carried to the station, in addition to whatever was in the cargo bay. So much of any extra performance available because the cargo bay had a light load, was used to reboost the station.


User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 4061 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 10068 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 3):
By what measure? I think the number of missions actually flown by each program speaks volumes in this regard.

I don't think that is a usable measure at all - financial and political considerations have no relation to the capabilities of the tool.

Buran wasn't cancelled because it couldnt compete on ability (whether it could or not is not a point covered in this post), it was cancelled because with the USSR dissolving into its constituent parts, no one wanted the eye watering cost of a Shuttle program analogue - even the US found it hard to stomach at times.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3565 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9949 times:
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Quoting moo (Reply 6):
I don't think that is a usable measure at all - financial and political considerations have no relation to the capabilities of the tool.

If it's so advanced that you can't afford to fly it what's the point?

Again by what measure? It can fly a couple of orbits without a crew? That doesn't make it advanced, it makes it a spacecraft designed for the manner in which the Soviets operated spacecraft.



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User currently offlineoldeuropean From Germany, joined May 2005, 2091 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9835 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 2):
Is it true that the Russian Buran shuttle was actually more advanced than the US one?

Yep!

http://www.k26.com/buran/Info/A_Comparison/a_comparison.html

And furthermore:
payload - Buran: 30 tons, it also had a larger cargo bay, Space Shuttle: 25 tons
glide ratio - Buran:6.5, Space Shuttle: 5.5
ability to bring payload back to earth - Buran 20 tons, Space Shuttle: 15 tons

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 3):
By what measure? I think the number of missions actually flown by each program speaks volumes in this regard.

That program was simply shut down because of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but probably would have been the better shuttle.

[Edited 2012-07-17 01:47:58]

[Edited 2012-07-17 02:02:09]


Wer nichts weiss muss alles glauben
User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 4061 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 9724 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 7):
If it's so advanced that you can't afford to fly it what's the point?

Again, not pertinent to the point at hand.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 7):
Again by what measure? It can fly a couple of orbits without a crew? That doesn't make it advanced, it makes it a spacecraft designed for the manner in which the Soviets operated spacecraft.

Thats more like it, actually attacking the point rather than coming up with unrelated tangential arguments.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3565 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 9611 times:
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Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 8):
but probably would have been the better shuttle.

By what measure?

Quoting moo (Reply 9):

Do you have anything to actually contribute to the thread?



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User currently offlineflyingturtle From Switzerland, joined Oct 2011, 2456 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 9517 times:

Quoting oldeuropean (Reply 8):
That program was simply shut down because of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, but probably would have been the better shuttle.
Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 10):
By what measure?

Less technical complexity for doing the same job. Buran was the payload of the Energija rocket (possessing no own rocket engine), while the huge external tank of the Space Shuttle... was the external tank of the Space Shuttle.



Keeping calm is terrorism against those who want to live in fear.
User currently offlineEagleBoy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1880 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 9435 times:
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Quoting kiwirob (Reply 2):
Is it true that the Russian Buran shuttle was actually more advanced than the US one? I've heard it many times but have always wondered?

A useful element of the Buran design was the ability to operate with control from ground based station. In theory it couls have brought payload into orbit without needing to worry about those pesky cosmonauts and their air/water/food needs.

Buran was more robust that the Shuttle, I believe the 1 and only flight was launched during very inclement weather in Baikonour.

The larger payload capacity is a definite improvement, but then it did have a few years of watching the US Shuttle operating.


User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6515 posts, RR: 54
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9304 times:

Quoting kiwirob (Reply 2):
Is it true that the Russian Buran shuttle was actually more advanced than the US one? I've heard it many times but have always wondered?

It is very hard to compare the two systems in spite of the obvious look alike.

The Buran was a potentially manable satellite with re-entry capability launched on an enormous almost Saturn V like expendable Energia launcher. The Energia flew twice, first time carrying the Polyus satellite, which failed to reach orbit, even if the Energia launcher is said to have worked properly. Second and last flight was the single Buran launch.

The Shuttle was a space transportation system which launched with assistance from a drop-tank and two oversized, reusable JATO bottles. It was developed into a workable system with robot arm, EVA capability, capability to launch planetary research vehicles, satellite repair workshop (Hubble) etc.

Buran never reached beyond a project, which made it nowhere near completion - but an extremely ambitious project. Both Energia launchers were early concept test vehicles. The real thing, the Energia II Uragan, would have parachute recoverable boosters like the Shuttle, and a core vehicle with heat protection and landing gear like the Buran should be landed at an "airport". None of that ever made it beyond the drawing board.

If the Buran/Energia project had carried on, then a not unlikely shortcut would have been cancellation of the recoverable Energia core vehicle. That would have saved enormously on R&D, but on the other hand made dozens of Buran flights economically unimaginable.

Like so often in such situations the efforts were not totally wasted. For instance the four chamber RD-170 engine on the Energia boosters has been scaled down to a two chamber RD-180 engine which is now used on the Lockheed-Martin Atlas V space launcher.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 4061 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 9232 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 10):
Do you have anything to actually contribute to the thread?

Correcting opinionated mistakes isnt "contributing" these days?

You have tried to put the Buran down by making two observations about non-technical and non-capability related issues in a topic that discusses the technical abilities or capabilities of said class of craft.

Whether it was too expensive to operate or not, or whether it flew less times than its western rival has absolutely zero impact on whether it was better in a technical or capable sense - try discussing those things.

You keep just saying "by what measure" - well, if you keep dismissing points with that then theres no point in ever actually bringing anything to you - oldeuropean gave you a nice (short) list of improvements that Buran had over the US Shuttle, and you effectively just dismissed them out of hand. He gave you a measure, and you ignored it.

Buran had capability improvements over the US Shuttle, thats plain to see - larger cargo bay, better glide ratio, larger return-to-earth ability. And thats aside from the ability to launch, orbit and land in a completely automated fashion - that wasn't just a fancy schmancy thing for testing, there was an un-manned variant planned to operate to Mir 2, as a Progress style mission replacement with a reusable capability.

The launch stack also had improvements over the Shuttles launch stack - it had a general purpose ability (it could carry more than just the Buran) built right in, more of it was reusable. Never used because of the cost implication.

At the end of the day, the Shuttle never realised its biggest supposed benefit - cost reduction. Each Shuttle launch was eye wateringly expensive - and with the collapse of the Soviet Union imminent, with money becoming severely tight, the Soviet space program decided it simply didnt need the capability (which came at a similar price to the US Shuttle) and cancelled it.

Does that have anything to do with the technical abilities of the craft? No.


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2392 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9136 times:
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Quoting moo (Reply 14):
And thats aside from the ability to launch, orbit and land in a completely automated fashion

That's a bit of a red herring. The launch of the Shuttle, excepting emergencies, was pretty much automated. And while it was never used, the Shuttle always had most of what was needed for a remote controlled reentry, and in fact has always been able to run almost all of the reentry automated (traditionally the pilots would take control a few minutes before landing, but that the Shuttle was capable of autoland). Along the way NASA added a special cable carried on board so that the few controls* that could not already be remoted, could, in fact, be operated remotely. In case a Shuttle had to be abandoned in orbit, the plan was to hook up the cable before the crew left, and attempt a remote-controlled reentry and landing.

*For example, the landing gear, drag chutes and APUs could not, in the normal configuration, be operated remotely, and the cable provided for additional downlinking of air data


User currently offlineredflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4376 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 9100 times:

Quoting moo (Reply 14):
At the end of the day, the Shuttle never realised its biggest supposed benefit - cost reduction.

That's only partially true. It certainly didn't lower the cost per-pound-to-orbit to the levels envisaged when the program was first launched, but it certainly lowered the cost overall. And it definitely lowered the cost of putting people into orbit - it would take 3 flights of a Soyuz to put 7 people into orbit whereas it took only 1 launch of the Shuttle.



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User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6515 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 9035 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 15):
...while it was never used, the Shuttle always had most of what was needed for a remote controlled reentry, and in fact has always been able to run almost all of the reentry automated...

From STS-121 and forward the Shuttle was equipped for fully autonomous re-entry and landing - as a precaution against accidental crew incapacitation. Never used.

The full automatic feature was deemed irrelevant during design, but the post Columbia accident review recommended that it should be fitted, which consequently happened.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2392 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 9024 times:
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Quoting redflyer (Reply 16):
That's only partially true. It certainly didn't lower the cost per-pound-to-orbit to the levels envisaged when the program was first launched, but it certainly lowered the cost overall. And it definitely lowered the cost of putting people into orbit - it would take 3 flights of a Soyuz to put 7 people into orbit whereas it took only 1 launch of the Shuttle.

It's hard to get exact costs for either Soyuz or Shuttle flights, but NASA just agreed to pay about $63 million each for a dozen Soyuz seats in 2014-15. They paid $55m/ea for half a dozen seats in 2013-14. In 2007, Roskosmos was publically claiming $23m/seat, although NASA was paying about $38m/seat*.

I suspect Roskosmos was making money at all of those prices, and the recent big jump in prices has more to do with their monopoly on the service than their costs. But using any of those numbers, seven Soyuz seats are still considerably cheaper than a Shuttle flight, for which a *minimum* (current dollar) estimate has to be about $600m (and that at 6 or 7 flights per year**, which the Shuttle rarely achieved). And consider that Roskosmos is making money, so their *costs* are likely considerably lower than their prices (probably in the ballpark of $80m per *flight*, maybe a bit less).



*$720m for 15 seats plus 5.6 tons of cargo, factoring out $130-170m for several Progress cargo flights get you the $38m/seat number.

**This is crucial - the Shuttle had (relatively) low per-flight costs (probably about $120-130m in current dollars), but very high fixed infrastructure/support costs. Soyuz has much higher proportion of its costs in the flight. But you can see how the Shuttle might have been a pretty good deal had NASA’s original projection of 50 flights per year materialized.


User currently offlineBoeingVista From Australia, joined Jan 2009, 1584 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 8854 times:

Quoting redflyer (Reply 16):
That's only partially true. It certainly didn't lower the cost per-pound-to-orbit to the levels envisaged when the program was first launched, but it certainly lowered the cost overall. And it definitely lowered the cost of putting people into orbit - it would take 3 flights of a Soyuz to put 7 people into orbit whereas it took only 1 launch of the Shuttle.

Well, 3 Soyuz flights would put 9 men in orbit, it would take 2 shuttle flights to do that... But from your original point according to NASA in 2011 the average shuttle launch costed about $450m, The Russians are charging NASA $63m per seat to put an astronaut into space so the ruskies could launch 7.1 astronauts for the cost of a shuttle launch. So no it didn't bring the cost down at all.

Also you have to remember that NASA's $450m did NOT including non launch costs, which were about $5bn per year.



BV
User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3565 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 8772 times:
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Quoting moo (Reply 14):
You keep just saying "by what measure" - well, if you keep dismissing points with that then theres no point in ever actually bringing anything to you - oldeuropean gave you a nice (short) list of improvements that Buran had over the US Shuttle, and you effectively just dismissed them out of hand. He gave you a measure, and you ignored it.

The fellow was asking if one was more "advanced" than than other. In what way? Avionics? Materials? Structures? Propulsion? Are we comparing first flight Shuttle vs first (only) flight Buran? Or last flight Shuttle vs a potentially mature & developed Buran? Or are we taking the gloves off completely and comparing fantasy versions of both?

Or how about we compare supporting systems, say robotics or EVA & launch and entry suits?

I suspect you only want to compare the automated landing capabilities - which only got one orbital test on Buran & was available but not tested on Shuttle. Hardly a fair or equitable comparison for either vehicle. I could as easily say that Shuttle was more "advanced" because it had an operating life support system.

Oldeuropeans numbers are hardly relevant for determining which is more "advanced" they are performance & dimensional figures after all. An AN124 can lift more & has more cube available than a 787, does that make the AN124 more "advanced"?



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User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 8760 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 20):
Oldeuropeans numbers are hardly relevant for determining which is more "advanced" they are performance & dimensional figures after all. An AN124 can lift more & has more cube available than a 787, does that make the AN124 more "advanced"?

Great point. A good measure of "advanced" in my book would have included its reliability to repeatedly perform the mission safely. Buran didn't fly enough for us to tell...the thing could have been a dysfunctional deathtrap or maintenance nightmare (even moreso than the US shuttle!) for all we know.

Regardless, I submit that the people who create the first version of a groundbreaking new idea deserve a heartier pat on the back than the next ones who take the idea and make it more capable on the second iteration. The latter is clever but hardly a bold expression of human ingenuity.

There would have been no Buran if the US shuttles hadn't proven the concept. And it would have been an alarming failure on the Russians' part not to make incremental 'capability' improvements to the US design!

Of course the US has made many great "version 2.0" products off of other people's ideas, but that's life.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3565 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 8748 times:
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Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 21):
Great point. A good measure of "advanced" in my book would have included its reliability to repeatedly perform the mission safely. Buran didn't fly enough for us to tell...the thing could have been a dysfunctional deathtrap or maintenance nightmare (even moreso than the US shuttle!) for all we know.

Thank you. There are several other problems with comparing these performance numbers:

- They don't mention the orbital inclination or altitude, Shuttle had a significant (and demonstrated) payload advantage to a 28.5 deg orbit vs. a 51.6 orbit. I'm not even sure Buran could get to 28.5 but assuming it could it would have taken a severe hit to the payload capability Oldeuropean mentions. ( the orbit I assume Oldeuropeans numbers refer to is 51.6)

- Buran never hauled a significant payload to orbit. No telling what it's ultimate payload capability might have been.... it could easily have gone down, as Shuttles did, or gone up. Unfortunately we'll never know since Buran only flew the one time and ceased development after that.



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User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3565 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 8709 times:
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Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 22):
( the orbit I assume Oldeuropeans numbers refer to is 51.6)

Correction: I don't know what inclination Oldeuropeans numbers refer to, however I have discovered that the Energias launch pad was located at 46 North. Which means the Burans best payload performance would have been to an orbit inclined 46 deg. In other words launched due east to take maximum advantage of the earths rotation from that launch site.



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User currently offlineprebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6515 posts, RR: 54
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 8680 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 22):
- Buran never hauled a significant payload to orbit. No telling what it's ultimate payload capability might have been.... it could easily have gone down, as Shuttles did, or gone up.

Comparing the Shuttle and Buran payload capabilities is somewhat more complicated than just numbers.

The Shuttle we know about since it was a "shuttle", a launch and re-entry system. It had mostly well over 20,000 kg depending on orbit inclination and altitude it should reach. It was also made for polar orbit when launched from Vandenberg, then the payload would be only some 8,000 kg. Never tried.

About Buran we know that operational weight including maneuvering fuel, but without payload, was 75,000 kg. The MTOW was listed as 105,000 kg. Difference = payload = 30,000 kg.

But the Buran was a "satellite" with a cargo bay - with re-entry capability, and it relied on the Energia launch system for launch.

The Energia was planned as a family of launch vehicles with LEO launch capability from 80,000 up to 200,000 kg. Only one of those family members ever made it off the drawing board, the 80,000 kg version. Two were produced, the first to launch the failed Polyus satellite, even if it is said that it was Polyus' own fault, not Energia's fault. The second and last Energia launched Buran on it single flight.

Consequently, a launch system which could launch the Buran with any significant payload was never designed and never produced.

I would be willing to ague that the Buran payload capability would be totally dependent upon the launch system used. Its power, and for Buran's structure, also the maximum acceleration generated by the launch system.

And since no launch system was ever produced, which could lift Buran with payload, then the 30,000 kg can only be considered an early design goal. It might have come out higher or lower as design of the more powerful Energia launchers gained momentum.

So depending on the color of the glasses you wear on a particular day, you can have both being superior:

1. Buran was superior since it was made to carry a heavier payload.

2. The Shuttle was superior because over 133 successful flights is carried a few thousand tonnes into space, while the Buran/Energia shuttle system was cancelled at a development stage where carrying any payload was future plans only. Design of a Buran/Energia system, which was able to carry payload, was never finished, and hardware for that wasn't produced.

Talk about apples and oranges....  



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
25 ZANL188 : Vastly oversimplified. It seems you are applying aircraft principles to a spacecraft..... Agreed
26 rwessel : Various upgrades to the Shuttle were considered as well. Most notably several upgrades of the SRBs were considered. The ASRBs were canceled pretty we
27 redflyer : Good point. But how much of that $63 million covers actual costs? In other words, is that $63 million a discounted cost given the monies NASA has pou
28 rwessel : As I mentioned above, Roskosmos’ cost per Soyuz flight is probably in the ballpark of $80m (or about $27m/seat), and as recently as 2007, Roskosmos
29 Post contains links redflyer : I just did some research. I wasn't aware the Russians were capable of doing ~$2,500 per pound to orbit on a Soyuz. So it makes sense that they could
30 connies4ever : I have seen articles on the web indicating that Shuttle missions were more in the region of $750-800M per. NASA never was very honest in how it prese
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