REALSPACE: It's odd to be on this end of history, isn't it?

Republibot 3.0
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These are come current photos of the Soviet Buran space shuttle, the only soviet shuttle to ever fly (in 1988). The collapse of the Soviet union caused the financial meltdown of their shuttle program (The development phase ran from 1973-1987), and that was that. There were six shuttles in various stages of construction, the Buran ("Blizzard") itself actually flew, and the Pitchka ("Little Bird") was more than 90% complete.

http://www.mk.ru/photo/social/1090-buran-prinesennyiy-v-zhertvu.html

translation of the text:

"It would seem, the deserted spacecraft on the street of Moscow - this something from the region of fantasy. But, alas, this is genuine reality. Correspondent “MK” revealed orbital Soviet “snow-storm” by that dragging along, as if garbage, in the capital outskirts. There is no one matter to the fact that was once the symbol of the space power of our country."

There was a lot of interest in reviving the program in the early '90s, provided foreign investors could be found, but in 1995 a blizzard (Ironically enough) collapsed the Buran hangar, more or less destroying the shuttle. Since then it's been in storage, while the government decided what to do with it. Evidently it's being scrapped.

One of the other Buran class shuttles - one that never flew - was purchased by some private investors and used as a steak restaraunt in Gorky Park in Moscow. http://wikimapia.org/2169/spacecraft-Buran

It's weird to be on this end of history, isn't it? To see cutting edge science fictiony stuff like this moldering away in a scrap heap somewhere? You know that weird-and-sad vibe you get when you find out that Margot Kidder is sleeping in the bushes, or that Dale Bozzio has turned into a creepy cat lady? It's not just a case of "Oh, that poor thing," but more like "Oh, God, no!" This is a lot like that.

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