BURAN flights, precurser, development and history

The development of the BURAN spaceship have been started 1973, around 2 years later than the development of the US Space shuttle, with the first BOR ( Bespilotny Orbitalny Raketoplan ) spaceships as precursor for the BURAN spaceship.

The real development have been started with the BOR-4 and BOR-5 spaceships due to their orbital test flights.

BOR-5 was already a 1:8 Model of the later BURAN 1.01 (Blizzard) spaceship and has undertaken 5 launches between 1984 and 1988.

The BURAN spaceship was the similar development to the US Space Shuttle and should serve as well as an Orbiter with possibility of recovery.

The design was nearly total similar to the Space Shuttle concerning the aerodynamics due to the huge success of the US Space Shuttle.

But there have been some differences, the main one was the missing of main own rocket engines at the BURAN spaceship.

The spacecraft was the russian Energia rocket, which took twice off, first time on 17 of may 1988

with a dummy container instead of the Buran spaceship and second time on 15 of november 1988 with the Orbiter BURAN, the BURAN F-1 Mission.

But BURAN 1.01 has undertaken only one unmanned spaceflight on 15.11.1988 for only two Orbits.(F-1 Mission). No manned spaceflight.


From the BURAN spaceship there have been planned, constructed and partly finished 5 Orbiter.:


BURAN 1.01,     flown one time 15.11.1988

BURAN 1.02,     95% finished

BURAN 2.01,     not completed

BURAN 2.02,     not completed

BURAN 2.03,     not completed


8 russian cosmonauts has been selected first and have been trained for the manned BURAN spaceflight project:


Rimantas Stankyavichus

Igor Volk

Alexander Shchukin

Ivan Bachurin 

Aleksey Borodai

Anatoli Levchenko

Viktor Zabolotsky

Valery Tokarew

Toktar Aubakirov (Buran cosmonaut candidate)


Totally 18 russian cosmonauts have been later selected as BURAN Space Shuttle test pilots.

Due to the financial problems, the Buran program was moothballed and later totally cancelled in 1993.


This BURAN collection is divided in the following parts:


Precursor BOR-4 and BOR-5 test flights with mission covers

BURAN Space Shuttle project pilots with original autographs on covers and documents

BURAN Space Shuttle test pilots with original autographs on covers and documents

BURAN test flights and taxi tests on mission covers

BURAN 1.01, F-1 Mission almost flown cover

BURAN 1.01, F-1 Mission covers

BURAN 1.01,  F-1 Mission                    launch   15.11.1988                  unmanned

                                                           landing  15.11.1988

2 Orbits

Flightime 2h20min

Only one launch of the BURAN 1.01  (Blizzard) Orbiter  with the rocket Energia


Regarding postal history and Buran flown covers.

There have been prepared 10,000 covers in cooperation between Kniga and Glavkosmos for flying during the first flight in the Buran spaceship.


But 1.000 have been destroyed and the box with 8.900 remaining covers have been removed from the spaceship shortly before lauch by order of chief constructor Mr.Semyonow.

All this covers are numbered.

The covers removed before take off were often referred as "Almost flown Buran covers"


Another small box of 100 covers which are not numbered !! and with the printing on the backside not for sale may be have been left in the cabine of Buran spaceship and may be flew twice orbits in the spaceship.

There are some rumors that this box stayed in the Buran spaceship, but it is not totally confirmed.


In our collection is one of this very rare unnumbered may be flown covers to see.

This unnumbered cover is orig. signed by Dr.Sergej Schajewitsch, who is today Director of the russian spacecompany Chrunitschew and was at that time responsible for the development of the Buran project.

As well is that cover signed by Toktar Aubakirov who was candidate for the Buran missions.

He was later flying as the first cosmonaut from Kasachstan with Sojus TM-13.

The number of the may be real flown covers is mentioned with 100.



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