The Energia Buran archive

Pictures from the Soviet Union space shuttle and launch vehicle: The Energia-Buran Archive

The Buran space shuttle flew once, uncrewed, in 1988. Its launch vehicle was Energia, and it flew twice before everything got cancelled as the Soviet Union dismantled.1

Notice also, pictures of the Antonov-225 Mriya a very unique aircraft, developed for the programme, and that later was commercially re-used for oversized payloads. Russia destroyed the aircraft in its hangar during their invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

  1. the cancellation reasons are probably more complex than that, but for sure the Soviet Union dismantling about 3 years after the only flight did contribute to the demise. One would say the programme was already doomed. The irony is that when NASA cancelled the Space Shuttle in 2011, Russia was left as the only way to send and retrieve crews from the ISS. ↩︎