The Soviet space shuttle 'Buran' (or 'Snowstorm' in Russian) was designed to carry ten crew members rather than seven, as well as a larger payload than the U.S system (STS). A marvel of space architecture and engineering. It was originally developed in response to the STS program, as the Russian military had become suspicious that the shuttle could be used for military purposes. Hence the exact military capabilities, or intended capabilities of the Buran program remain classified.
Buran involved the work of 1206 subcontractors and 100 government ministries at a total cost of 14.5 billion roubles. In 1993 the program was cancelled, as a consequence of the collapse of the Russian economy. Unlike its opposite number the 'Discovery' (which is to be added to the U.S National Air and Space Museum collection) all the models that still survive in Russia are in a desperate state. She is a spaceship unloved; a sad reminder of past glories and excesses.
These images document left details from one of the Buran shuttles; the personal traces of the engineers, the sophisticated space age materials, the complexity of its construction and the course of their dilapidation over the last 20 years.