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Axeman
2002-Nov-07, 05:19 AM
How much of the info on this website (http://www.buran.ru/htm/molniya5.htm) is correct? It seems to be very biased in favor of Buran. Any info either proving or disproving the information would be appreciated. Thanks.

Colt
2002-Nov-07, 06:29 AM
As far as I can tell that site has pretty much everything right, though I am not that knowledgable about the Buran and the US Orbiter. Buran means "Snowstorm" or "Storm" in Russian, I think. Funny how the guy found a drawing of the Challenger to display next to the Buran. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

The added capabilities of the Buran could be attributed to its later design period. I think they began designing the Shuttle in 1975 about, it runs on 8088 chips (look out HUb', they're after yours). /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

You can read more about it here, http://www.russianspaceweb.com/buran.html I do not have the time right now to review and compare both sites, though i would count the russianspaceweb.com site more reliable.

Personally I think the Buran looks better. -Coltt

anu
2002-Nov-08, 09:37 PM
Construction of OV-101 ( 'Constitution', before the Trekkies got their way) was started in June 74 at Palmdale. I think it was rolled out in Sept or Oct 76 (I remember the hoopla coinciding with near my eighth birthday). Interestingly, I keep hearing rumours that Energia are actively pushing the idea of selling the one complete flightworthy Russian shuttle to NASA/ESA/NASDA/anyone else with the dosh! The Russian SCA (the An-225 Mryia) is back flying after nearly a decade of mothballing, and I for one would love to see a manned Snowstorm power into orbit. Anyone got any more details?

Gramma loreto
2002-Nov-08, 09:55 PM
Colt...did you receive my private message?

Colt
2002-Nov-08, 11:05 PM
Yep, I did. I just replied -Colt

Fruh-Batz
2002-Nov-08, 11:25 PM
Well, too bad, I intercepted the message and replaced it with something else.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Fruh-Batz on 2002-11-08 18:28 ]</font>

Axeman
2002-Nov-10, 12:50 AM
I found a few more Buran links, including some about selling it:
http://dailyrevolution.org/tuesday/buranburan.html
http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/rsa/buran.html
http://members.lycos.co.uk/spaceprojects/buran.html
http://home.c2i.net/jonass/engelsk/buran.htm
http://www.k26.com/buran/Buran_Energia_News/buran_energia_news.html
http://www.flagship-intl.com/webdoc2.htm
http://dwaters.tv/scriptcnnhn8122001.html
http://www.space.com/news/spacehistory/buran_auction_ends_020523.html
http://thebase.weblogger.com/stories/storyReader$7299
http://www.space.com/news/spacehistory/buran_auction_020509.html
http://www.ability.org.uk/buran_russian_space_shuttle.html
http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/q22000/wir20001026002723.htm

n810
2002-Nov-12, 12:52 AM
Probably the best info you will ever find, plus lots of cool pictures, is here:
http://www.astronautix.com/spaceflt.htm
Mark Wade has put together one of the most comprehensive spaceflight references ever, and best of all, it's free!

Avatar28
2002-Nov-12, 06:41 PM
On 2002-11-07 01:29, Colt wrote:
The added capabilities of the Buran could be attributed to its later design period. I think they began designing the Shuttle in 1975 about, it runs on 8088 chips (look out HUb', they're after yours). /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif


Not true. They've drastically updated the fleet. When they upgraded to the "glass" cockpit a few years ago (replaced all the instruments with multi-function displays), they also upgraded all the computers to, I believe, 486 processors. Woohoo! We're cooking with gas now, baby!

calliarcale
2002-Nov-12, 08:33 PM
Shuttle never used 8080s and doesn't use 486s for critical functions (such as the main computers that manage ascent, and the computers that run things like the radiators and the life support systems). Those chips are used for other, non-critical roles. Critical computers on the shuttles are run by highly fault-tolerant radiation-hardened chips. 486s are NOT radiation-hardened. But they do use things *equivalent* to 8080s and 486s. (And they use 8080s and 486s, as well as many other processors, for ground support equipment. Those won't be exposed to as much radiation.)

Many people are surprised to learn this, but computers are much more sensitive to radiation than your body is, at least in terms of data loss. Radiation can induce a current in a fine circuit, which leads to spurious signals, which leads to major data corruption, which is why Galileo kept conking out on Jupiter flybys despite having the best radiation hardening available at the time. The laptops on the ISS (which I believe are Pentium based) are constantly crashing; they only put up with it becuase they're cheap and they're not critical. Critical components are built to tolerate the radiation. In a practical sense, this means sacrificing a lot of the data word and data space for error correction bits. Galileo had pretty advanced chips, but was only able to make use of 8 bits of each data word; the rest was all error correction. And it still got overwhelmed on a regular basis!

Buran was a lovely bird. That website is basically accurate. One of the things that is omitted is that after Buran's one automated test flight into orbit, it needed a lot of work on the tiles. More than the US Shuttle needs, although perhaps with time the program would have resolved that.

Sad news, however, for fans of "Snowstorm": Buran is no more. Buran was for years stored in the assembly building at Baikonur Cosmodrome which was originally built for the N-1 program. (Building 115, if memory serves.) It was still mated to the top of an Energia core stage, and the parts for at least three more Energias were scattered throughout the building; core stages, boosters, tanks.... A few months ago, the Russians were having some work done on the roof of the building because it was starting to leak (not normally a problem since Baikonur is in a desert, but still something that needed fixing). Unfortunately, the roof collapsed. Eight workers who were on the roof at the time were killed. Buran and the last Energias sustained considerable damage; they will never fly. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_cry.gif

AgoraBasta
2002-Nov-12, 11:01 PM
On 2002-11-12 15:33, calliarcale wrote:
Sad news, however, for fans of "Snowstorm": Buran is no more.
Buran is no more for the sole reason of no financial support. That system in hangar 112(?) was ready to fly in late 80's / early 90's. AFAIK, there are at least two systems that might still be made flightworthy in about two-years time plus there are a few more less finished. One more bad thing about Buran is that people who worked on it start to die out.

Regarding the computer systems of Buran, my educated guess would be that they must've been distributed VLIW-based with near-absolute fault tolerance (superscalar designs were sort of obsoleted for mission-critical applications since mid-70's in the SU).
Anyway, quite a lot of incredibly advanced technology from the old soviet projects is being wasted due to plain commercial/competitive reasons.

(BTW, the word "Buran" is better matched with "Blizzard".)

David Hall
2002-Nov-13, 03:24 AM
On 2002-11-12 15:33, calliarcale wrote:

Buran was a lovely bird. That website is basically accurate. One of the things that is omitted is that after Buran's one automated test flight into orbit, it needed a lot of work on the tiles. More than the US Shuttle needs, although perhaps with time the program would have resolved that.


Welcome aboard Calliarcale. I have a feeling we're really going to enjoy your company here. Your posts on Soviet space history are excellent.

Your statement about the Buran tile problem got me to wondering. I know the Shuttle had quite a few problems with tiles at the beginning, and that upkeep is very expensive and labor-intensive. But I'm curious to know what the situation is like now. What did NASA learn from it's early problems, and what changes have they made over the years to the tiles or how they are handled? How much better is it now than it was back in the early years?

RafaelAustin
2002-Nov-13, 05:09 AM
The one thing I noticed about the paragraph comparing the Shuttle to the Buran is it looks like they're just playing around with the numbers to make the Buran look better.

If the main engine is on the Energia and not the Buran, that would probably make it 5 tons lighter and have greater capacity.

At the top of the page, third paragraph it say it's rated at 30 tons, then they try to compare the 120 Energia to 30 tons for a Shuttle.

The Shuttle's main thrusters (which stick out) also appear to account for the difference in drag (the Buran doesn't have any).

Which may all make the Buran a better design. Do they recover and reuse the Energia?

Argos
2002-Nov-13, 01:13 PM
On 2002-11-07 01:29, Colt wrote:

Personally I think the Buran looks better.



And so looked "Concordsky" [remember?], with the winglets ahead. Hope Buran has a better fate [I mean, if it takes-off one day].

calliarcale
2002-Nov-13, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the welcome! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif I think I shall very much enjoy this forum! (Shameless plug: check out the SPACE.com Uplink message boards at http://uplink.space.com -- I'm one of the moderators there. It's a pretty open forum; we don't do much actual moderating, so there are some free-for-alls.)

A few points about Energia-Buran....

Energia is *not* reusable. Spent stages that fall into Kazakhstan or Russia would be recovered only for scrap. (Russian military collect any reusable parts and the local rocket gangs compete to see who will get to salvage the bulk of it for scrap metal.) The plan was ultimately to make all the parts reusable; flyback Zenit strapon boosters, and a flyback core stage. But cost considerations lead to accomplishing only one reusable component at a time.

The program isn't entirely dead. Zenit is still a popular rocket, and is used by the Sea Launch Consortium (which launches them from the ocean), and the Angara and Baikal boosters are descended from it. Baikal only exists in the conceptual and early prototype stage right now, but it will feature a jet engine, wings, and landing gear! Baikal will be a relatively small rocket. It is mainly meant as a flyback strap-on booster.

Main engines are indeed on the Energia; Buran only has maneuvering thrusters. The plan was to furnish it also with jet engines, giving it greater flexibility in landing because it would be capable of powered flight. One of the test articles (which has appeared at a number of airshows) was in fact equipped with jet engines for landing tests.

The original plan for Buran called for giving it main engines. They were very consciously copying Shuttle. But the plan evolved over time, and it was decided that they could have a much more versatile system by allowing Energia to fly alone. (Similar but superior to the proposed Shuttle-C concept, which would have placed SSMEs on an unmanned payload pod.) Part of the reason was also the enormous development cost in building reusable engines of sufficient thrust. The SSMEs are fantastic feats of engineering, putting out an impressive thrust level but still being reusable. I think they can handle something like fifty starts before they have to be replaced. Most engines can handle no more than five. The Soviets didn't have much experience in that field. With budget problems already beginning to surface, they decided to go for a more conservative route so they could get the thing flying. And it worked.

Energia's maximum theoretic payload was 88,000 kg to a minimal 200 km orbit (which, from Baikonur, means 51 degrees inclination -- it could manage considerably more if it launched from KSC into a 28 degree inclination orbit). It could put 22,000 kg into geosynchronous orbit.

Energia-Buran could carry 30,000 kg into a minimal orbit. (Buran itself had a mass of about 42,000 kg, so there's some leeway.) Again, that figure is assuming a Baikonur launch.

The Space Shuttle can carry 25,000 kg into a minimal orbit (28 degree inclination, 200 km altitude). Its maximum payload is much less to the ISS because of the dramatic plane shift required; KSC is naturally at a 28 degree inclination, so launching into 51 degrees means the vehicle must work harder for the same mass to orbit.

"Concordski" is the Tu-144, a supersonic airliner built by Tupolev. Two were built. One was destroyed at an airshow, effectively destroying its chances of commercial use. The other served for many years in a series of parabolic tests (similar but superior to what the Vomit Comet can acheive), and now has been purchased by a private individual in Texas. I hope it will fly some more. It's a good aircraft.

My husband, a big aviation nut, tells me that the little wings at the front are called "canards". "Winglets" properly refers to the little stabilizer thingies new airliners often have at the ends of their wingtips. The Tu-144's canards are retractible!

Sadly, Buran will never take-off. It was destroyed in the collapse of its assembly building earlier this year. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_frown.gif

Firefox
2002-Nov-13, 02:56 PM
Sadly, Buran will never take-off. It was destroyed in the collapse of its assembly building earlier this year.

The story I had heard was that one of the test articles was damaged or destroyed in the collapse. Buran herself, I believe, is in Gorkiy Park (or that's yet another test article.)


-Adam

[EDIT]Typo.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Firefox on 2002-11-13 09:57 ]</font>

calliarcale
2002-Nov-13, 05:11 PM
Unfortuantely, my sources say that was the real Buran that was at Baikonur. (I think Rosaviacosmos never really completely gave up on it and always hoped they could fly it again.) The one in Gorky Park is a test article. It's hollow and was used for aerodynamic testing.

Argos
2002-Nov-13, 05:38 PM
On 2002-11-13 09:21, calliarcale wrote:

"Concordski" is the Tu-144, a supersonic airliner built by Tupolev. Two were built. One was destroyed at an airshow, effectively destroying its chances of commercial use. The other served for many years in a series of parabolic tests (similar but superior to what the Vomit Comet can acheive), and now has been purchased by a private individual in Texas. I hope it will fly some more. It's a good aircraft.


I welcome you to this board. When I mentioned the Concordsky I was referring to the remarkable ability of the Russians in adapting western ideas and projects to their particular purposes. The case of both TU-144 and Buran are similar in that sense. (that's the case of Zenit photographic camera, too./phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif)



My husband, a big aviation nut, tells me that the little wings at the front are called "canards". "Winglets" properly refers to the little stabilizer thingies new airliners often have at the ends of their wingtips. The Tu-144's canards are retractible!


OK. I should say "canards". I used "winglet" as a general term. Nowadays "winglet" has a status of its own, being the surface mounted at the tip of the wings to prevent the turbulence caused by the encounter of the two "limit-layers" of air stream flowing upon and bellow the wing. In the TU-144 the role of those little wings, or canards, was to enhance the pitch capability of the airplane. It was a late addition to the project.

BTW, "canard" is the French for "goose". The term also applies to the airplanes which fly resembling a goose, with the stabilizer put ahead of the wing. One of the first airplanes, the "14 BIS", which flew in Paris in 1906 (the first plane to fly without catapult assistance), was a canard.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-11-13 12:56 ]</font>

Argos
2002-Nov-13, 05:51 PM
I know (or I think I know) that, in the final [and radical] approach to landing, Shuttle modifies its pitch attitude by opening surfaces in the tail fin which act like "drag-brakes". Does Buran use the same solution? Do you know it Calliarcale?




<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-11-13 12:54 ]</font>

calliarcale
2002-Nov-13, 07:01 PM
Yes, Shuttle does have speedbrakes. As with a number of other aircraft, they are in the rudder, which opens up to produce drag.

Does Buran? I don't know. It's very possible -- speedbrakes are common features in aircraft, although they are implemented in many different ways. I'll have to look it up. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif It might show in the picture of Buran's one landing from orbit.

I looked up Buran at RussianSpaceWeb.com (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/buran.html) for help. That didn't say, nor did it have a picture of Buran in unpowered flight. So I checked Encyclopedia Astronautica: Buran (http://www.astronautix.com/craft/buran.htm). And I'm not sure. Two pictures looked as if there was an open speedbrake, but this picture from behind showing the dragchute deployment (http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/q/qburchut.jpg) reveals that it's just the rudder leaning to the right. (There was apparently a strong crosswind that day.)

Then again, this picture of Buran on approach (http://www.astronautix.com/graphics/q/qburair.jpg) does make it look as if it has speedbrakes on its rudder, just like the Shuttle. I don't think that design was unique to these spaceplanes, though. I think other aircraft have had similar speedbrake arrangments.

Colt
2002-Nov-14, 07:35 AM
You can have speedbrakes basically anywhere on an aircraft, you can even use them for maneuvering. All they basically have to be is something sticking out to block the air. The Snowspeeder in StarWars uses airbrakes to maneuver. -Colt

Argos
2002-Nov-14, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the links, Colt.

As a matter of fact, Shuttle uses drag surfaces not only to reduce speed but to change pitch attitude. By opening the surfaces you generate drag on the tail (drag=weight) causing the craft to flip, adjusting the horizontal attitude to an adequate angle just before landing.

What I'd like to know is if Buran uses the same solution. I'll take a look on the links you provided.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Argos on 2002-11-14 06:41 ]</font>

calliarcale
2002-Nov-14, 07:42 PM
Go for the last link that I posted. It's the clearest view of Buran during landing from behind. It does appear to have put the speedbrakes on the rudder.

The speedbrakes on the Snow Speeders in "Empire Strikes Back" are cool. When everybody around me was just enjoying the movie, I was being enthralled by the fact that the filmmakers went to the trouble of putting in flight control surfaces. That's very rare, mainly because most viewers won't notice the difference and it's just plain easier to leave them out.

Colt
2002-Nov-14, 08:43 PM
^Yeah, most SF films just bodge it on "they are very advanced spaceships, they don't need those!" Sometimes the simplest solution is still the best.

I think Northrop or Grumman used drag surfaces on the very ends of their flying wings to imitate rudder control, they were said to have even more control than a normal one. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif I am very big fan of flying wings, just so you know. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif -Colt

2002-Nov-15, 02:11 AM
Shame on all of you!There is no 8080 processor!First Intel produced the 4004, then the 8086 and then the 8088(inferior to 8086, since the 8086 was too expensive). The shuttles utilize the 8086 chips, and recently NASA has been scrounging around for the 8086 chips from stale warehouses, dumps, anyplace. No, they were not upgraded to the 486 chips. Having logged many hours crawling through the interals of our electrical friends, I can tell you that it is not possible to upgrade an 8086 system, because modular motherboards were introducaed much later. So NASA simply replaced the chips.
The theory about crashing computers is incorrect, ALL laptops have radiation shielding built in their case, which is why it is so easy to smuggle something inside of it through the customs and which is why the customs officers make a fuss about laptops.

ToSeek
2002-Nov-15, 01:55 PM
On 2002-11-14 21:11, Gambit wrote:
Shame on all of you!There is no 8080 processor!First Intel produced the 4004, then the 8086 and then the 8088(inferior to 8086, since the 8086 was too expensive).


Not true. (http://www.intel.com/intel/intelis/museum/exhibit/hist_micro/hof/hof_main.htm) There was an 8080 (used in the first personal computers, back when you had to build them yourselves from a kit) and also an 8008.

The 8088 was functionally identical to the 8086 but used an 8-bit internal architecture instead of 16-bit, which made it cheaper but slower. The 8088 was the CPU used on the original IBM PCs.

2002-Nov-15, 10:47 PM
But was it of any use? Anything before the 8086 you can sweep under the rug because it was the first processor with significant capabilities.

RafaelAustin
2002-Nov-16, 05:08 AM
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_8080)

The Intel 8080 was an early CPU designed and manufactured by Intel. It was released in April 1974 running at 2MHz, and is generally considered to be the first truly usable microprocessor design. It was used in many early computers, and formed the basis for machines running CP/M.

The Intel 8080 successor to the Intel 8008 (with which it was Assembly language source compatible). The 8080 (permitted by its large 40 pin DIP packaging) had a 16-bit address bus and an 8-bit data bus. It had seven 8-bit registers (six which could also be combined as three 16-bit registers), a 16-bit stack pointer to memory which replaced the 8008's internal stack and a 16-bit program counter. It also had 256 I/O ports (so I/O devices could be connected without needing to allocate any addressing space as is required for memory mapped devices).

Shortly after the 8080, the Motorola 6800 was introduced.

List of Intel microprocessors (http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_microprocessors):
4004
4040
8008
8080
8085
8086
80186
80286 (etc.)

2002-Nov-16, 04:25 PM
And you're going to debate that a 2 Mhz processor is significant?Even microcontrollers have more power.

RafaelAustin
2002-Nov-16, 07:34 PM
No, I'm not going to argue. I'm just saying they were all important steps in the development of computing. All with specific goals and intended purposes. And each brought a little better understanding in the manufacturing and development of integrating computers with the hardware of its time. Just as today's processors will be 'swept under the rug' as quantum computing comes online.

2002-Nov-16, 09:54 PM
Actually, they weren't really important. The 4004 was the absolute first, and the 8086 was the useful first. The rest are like suborbital missions.

n810
2002-Nov-16, 10:47 PM
That this thread started with buran vs. orbiter and has evolved into a debate on processors, i thought i'd throw a bit of info in.

Around the time the first pentium (80586) chips were released, the US Navy aquired what was in theory the Soviet analogue to the Navy's Ageis cruiser. The US version is a boat designed around a wicked powerful radar that can make you have 2 headed kids fi you stand in front of it.
Anyway the Soviet version of this ship had a strange device in it that was apparently coupled with the radar to track and hopefully target and destroy incoming anti-ship missiles. After a bit of research is was determined that it was a MECHANICAL COMPUTER! (that means not digital... not silicone based) This computer had to be removed for study by cutting the ship in half. (not something you could put in your carry on luggage)
The Navy had another surprise when they started taking apart the weapons systems on the boat. The missiles that were slaved to the radar system also had mechanical computers in them, although quite a bit smaller than the shipboard one.
(This was detailed in a copy of popular science a few years back.)

It kind of makes you wonder, when any tourist could could purchase a 486 laptop and take it back to russia, why were they building monster mechanical computers? Is it possible that they might have tried to impletment such a machine to help control guidance on Buran? I know the computers on MIR were kinda kludgy, perhaps they used something similar there too?

Go Broncos

2002-Nov-17, 06:15 PM
Using the 486 chips in the guidance array would mean relying on the smugglers to supply the chips. In case of war the supply would be cut off and they would be screwed. Relying on your enemy to supply you with weaponry doesn't work very well.