German TV team finds Soviet space shuttle

23rd September 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2004, DUSSELDORF - A German television team has discovered an old Soviet space shuttle during shooting in Bahrain. Television producer Chris Maier said the Buran space shuttle was discovered unattended at a giant docksite in the Gulf state. "It seems to have been there a long time without anybody being interested in it," he said. According to Bild newspaper, the team was tipped off by Bahrain's Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, and found the shuttle "covered up and deser

27 September 2004

DUSSELDORF - A German television team has discovered an old Soviet space shuttle during shooting in Bahrain.

Television producer Chris Maier said the Buran space shuttle was discovered unattended at a giant docksite in the Gulf state.

"It seems to have been there a long time without anybody being interested in it," he said.

According to Bild newspaper, the team was tipped off by Bahrain's Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, and found the shuttle "covered up and deserted".

It is believed the shuttle could be a test version of the Buran, which made its first and only flight in 1988, but how it arrived in Bahrain was not readily explainable.

Space expert Andreas Schuetz, of the German Aerospace Centre in Cologne, said there were four Buran prototypes. The flight version of the Buran orbiter was destroyed when the roof collapsed at the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan in May 2002.

The Buran project officially ended in 1993, two years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, after the programme ran out of funds.

According to Spiegel Online, there are several pre-production models of the Buran shuttle, which was part of an ambitious Soviet Union project to compete with the US shuttle programme.

One of the shuttles is in Moscow and contains a restaurant, another was sold as a tourist attraction for the Olympic Games in Sydney and a third is thought still to be at Baikonur, the report said.

It quotes Maier as saying that the one found in Bahrain could be the Buran OK-GLI shuttle from Sydney.

The shuttle will now be transported to Germany where it has been bought by the Auto and Technology Museum in Sinsheim, 50 kilometres north of Stuttgart, Maier told Spiegel.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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