Signed photo from Buran
    test pilot Ural Sultanov
 
SIGNED PHOTOS
Autographed photos
from astronauts and cosmonauts.
>> See collection

SIGNED COVERS
Autographed covers
from all manned spaceflights.
>> See collection

SPACE RELICS
Space flown material
and other rare space related items.
>> See collection

BURAN PROGRAM
Discover the history
behind the russian shuttle program.
>> See collection

SPACE CANDIDATES
The history behind
the russian unflown cosmonauts.
>> See collection

CATALOGUE
Browse thru my
space cover and photo catalogue.
>> See catalogue

AUTOPENS
Beware of autopens
and learn how to detect them.
>> See tips
 


Buran Space Program...          See the Zond Lunar  program >>>

In terms of space memorabilia, the Buran Test Program is one of the most misterious programs of manned space flight. With nearly all the major cosmonauts who took part in it already deceased, or prematurelly killed in testing (except Volk), this is surelly one of the most demanding areas for the space cover collector as myself. As you will see, I managed to find some material for cosmonauts such as Stankyavichus or Sheffer. The story of this program is fascinating and I will try to tell it in the next lines...

The Civilan Test Group

In 1977, the Soviet Ministry of Aviation Industry selected a group of five test pilots, for the 11F35 space shuttle program, Buran. Based at the Flight Research Institute in Zhukovski, just outside Moscow. The Buran Group consisted of:

Cosmonaut Details
1 - Oleg Kononenko Killed on Yak-38A, 8 Sep. 1980
2 - Anatoly Levchenko Died of brain tumor, 6 Aug. 1988
3 - Alexandr Shchukin Killed on Su-26, 18 Aug. 1988
4 - Rimantas Stankyavichyus Killed on Su-27, 9 Sep. 1990
5 - Igor Volk Flown on Soyuz T-12

In 1982, the comittee met again, and elected a group of five more candidates, three of them would join the Buran Program. Apart from this five men, Vladimir Turovets was killed in the crash of an Mi-8 helicopter on February 1982, before he could join the group. The second Buran Group consisted of:

Cosmonaut Details
6 - Viktor Zabolotsky Joined the Buran Program
7 - Ural Sultanov Joined the Buran Program
8 - Magomed Tolboyev Joined the Buran Program
Vladimir Byrukov Not aproved
Pyotr Gladkov Declined to join the group

Until early 1990's, the comittee had to call other pilots, after the deaths of Levchenko, Shchukin and Stankyavichus, maiking a total of 11 (one more then previously planned, four of which died prematurelly). The final group to be called consisted of:

Cosmonaut Details
9 - Sergei Tresvyatsky Joined Buran Program in 21 Nov. 1985
10 - Yuri Sheffer Joined Buran Program in 21 Nov. 1985
11 - Yuri Prikhodko Joined Buran Program in 22 Mar. 1989

The Soviet Air Force Pilot Group

In the beggining of 1979, the Soviet Air Force selected and trained its own group of Buran test pilots. Unlike the "Igor Volk Group", these were military officers who remained assigned to the Chkalov Flight Research Center, at Akhtubinsk. Two of them never actually finished the training in Gagarin Center (Sattarov and Chirkin), while Mosolov and Sokovykh left the program prematurelly. Only Bachurin and Borodai can be considered as final Buran Air Force Test Pilots. The first pack consisted of:

Cosmonaut Description
1 - Ivan Bachurin Completed training
2 - Alexei Borodai Completed training
Viktor Chirkin Left program in 1981
Vladimir Mosolov Left program in mid 1980's
Nail Sattarov Left program in 1980
Anatoly Sokovykh Left program in mid 1980's

In October 1988, a new group of Air Force Buran test pilots was selected. The second pack consisted of:

Cosmonaut Description
3 - Valery Maximenko Designated test-cosmonaut in April 1991
4 - Anatoly Polonsky Designated test-cosmonaut in April 1991
5 - Alexandr Puchkov Designated test-cosmonaut in April 1991
6 - Nikolai Pushenko Designated test-cosmonaut in April 1991
7 - Valery Tokarev Designated test-cosmonaut in April 1991
8 - Alexandr Yablontsev Designated test-cosmonaut in April 1991

Fellow Collector: I'm still looking for any information of the wereabouts on any of this remaining 6 cosmonauts. I do not have any signed material or information on them. If you have any, related to there presente ocupation or address, feel free to drop a line in my e-mail (space@pedroamaral.com), so we can discuss this fascinating part of the Soviet Space Program.

Rare space cover, canceled at Baikonur on the filght date of the first and only unmanned Buran spaceflight (15th November 1988)

Buran approach and landing tests (ALT's)

Crew Date Mission Duration (min)
Volk/Stankyavichyus Dec. 29, 1984 Taxi test 5
Volk/Stankyavichyus Aug. 2, 1985 Ground-run 14
Volk/Stankyavichyus Oct. 5, 1985 Ground-run 12
Volk/Stankyavichyus Oct. 15, 1985 Ground-run 31
Volk/Stankyavichyus Nov. 5, 1985 Ground-run 12
Volk/Stankyavichyus Nov. 10, 1985 Flight 1 12
Volk/Stankyavichyus Jan. 3, 1986 Flight 2 36
Levchenko/Shchukin Apr. 26, 1986 Ground-run 14
Volk/Stankyavichyus May 27, 1986 Flight 3 23
Volk/Stankyavichyus Jun. 10, 1986 Flight 4 22
Levchenko/Shchukin Jun. 20, 1986 Flight 5 25
Levchenko/Shchukin Jun. 28, 1986 Flight 6 23
Volk/Stankyavichyus Dec. 10, 1986 Flight 7 24
Volk/Stankyavichyus Dec. 23, 1986 Flight 8 17
Levchenko/Shchukin Dec. 29, 1986 Flight 9 17
Levchenko/Shchukin Feb. 16, 1987 Flight 10 28
Shchukin/Levchenko Mar. 25, 1987 Ground-run 2
Stankyavichyus/Volk Mar. 30, 1987 Ground-run 25
Levchenko/Shchukin May 21, 1987 Flight 11 20
Stankyavichyus/Volk Jun. 25, 1987 Flight 12 19
Shchukin/Volk Oct. 5, 1987 Flight 13 21
Bachurin/Borodai Oct. 15, 1987 Flight 14 19
Volk/Stankyavichyus Jan. 16, 1988 Flight 15 22
Bachurin/Borodai Jan. 24, 1988 Flight 16 22
Bachurin/Borodai Feb. 23, 1988 Flight 17 22
Volk/Stankyavichyus Mar. 4, 1988 Flight 18 32
Borodai/Bachurin Mar. 12, 1988 Flight 19 21
Borodai/Bachurin Mar. 23, 1988 Flight 20 21
Bachurin/Borodai Mar. 28, 1988 Flight 21 22
Stankyavichyus/Shchukin Apr. 2, 1988 Flight 22 20
Shchukin/Stankyavichyus Apr. 8, 1988 Flight 23 21
Volk/Stankyavichyus Apr. 15, 1988 Flight 24 19
Stankyavichyus/Zabolotsky Dec. 28, 1989 Ground-run N.A.

Hours away from the first and only Buran spaceflight, launched from Baikonur on 15th November 1988

 

 
 
   Copyright 2005 Pedro Amaral. All Rights Reserved. Design by Interspire