Buran is a program devoted to creation of a reusable spacecraft. It took place in 1976-1993. Buran spacecraft was started to be designed in 1976. NPO Molnia under the leadership of G.E. Lozino-Lozinski General Designer and NPO Energia under the leadership of V.P Glushko Chief Designer were considered as head developers and manufacturers of the spacecraft. The purpose of Buran spacecraft was the same as that of the Space Shuttle. Buran was an integral and unique part of the universal reusable rocket and space transportation system (URKTS) Energia-Buran - 11F36 (11Ô36).
Exterior, layout and aerodynamics of Buran spacecraft was close to U.S. shuttle. During first test flights the crew comprised two test-cosmonauts: a commander and a pilot. Cosmonauts had to be in Strizh spacesuits equipped with parachutes and to be placed in the seats of the ejection system.
The flight-design tests of Buran spacecraft analogue - BTS-02 took place from 1984 to 1988. It was equipped with four turbojet engines in order to assure self-launching from take-off runway. The tests were performed in order to determine flight characteristics of Buran spacecraft, and operability of its systems. During the tests the future pilots of the spacecraft had an opportunity to obtain flight skills.
Its first and the only orbital test flight (2 revolutions) of Buran spacecraft (¹ 1 K) was performed on November, 15, 1988. Launch, orbital flight, re-entry, and landing on a runway were performed in automatic mode. In 1993 the program was laid off because of sharp budget reduction.