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Found: unused space shuttle
April 18, 2013 5:28 PM   Subscribe

No big deal, just found an abandoned space shuttle.
posted by latkes (43 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Flag this, keep it secret, we'll need it to save the world when we discover the killer asteroid, don't need no steenk'n tourists climbing around.
posted by sammyo at 5:34 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


sammyo: "Flag this, keep it secret, we'll need it to save the world when we discover the killer asteroid, don't need no steenk'n tourists climbing around"

There's a movie plot for you. The US doesn't have any operable space shuttles for whatever emergency, but it turns out the USSR built and stored several knock-offs.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:37 PM on April 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Dibs!
posted by 2N2222 at 5:38 PM on April 18, 2013


That would be Buran.
posted by briank at 5:38 PM on April 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


This must have been the most peculiar disappearance ever from the world's largest washing machine.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:44 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


For sale, baby rocket, never used.
posted by drezdn at 5:46 PM on April 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


More pictures here.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 5:49 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looks like this is Ptichka.
posted by rikschell at 5:49 PM on April 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Surely something like this was obscenely expensive. How could they just leave it lying about to rot? Wouldn't the materials and compoenents be worth something as scrap, at least?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:58 PM on April 18, 2013


When your empire has collapsed almost overnight a lot of stuff can fall through the cracks.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:01 PM on April 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


$1.7 billion USD of stuff? That's a hell of a crack.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:08 PM on April 18, 2013


Ran when parked
posted by hellojed at 6:21 PM on April 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


It is a depressing piece of political theater.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 6:25 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Very haunting and surreal and very JG Ballard. Could be something right out of his books like Memories of the Space Age or Hello America or any number of books dealing with a Future Past that ground itself into the ground and the icons of that age become totemic symbols and psychological artifacts decomposing and being reclaimed by nature.

Just eerie and beautiful. I feel like so many great things could done with that thing and it wouldn't even need to be cleaned up that much or even at all preferably. A dance, a play, a reading or some other type of performance or it could even be worshiped like the Minutemen Missile in Planet of the Apes 5 (or was it 4?) as a parody. Anyhow, the thing literally screams do something amazing with me.

I think I would try to have sex with it somehow.
posted by Skygazer at 7:12 PM on April 18, 2013 [15 favorites]


I think I would try to have sex with it somehow.

Play safe, Skygazer. Play safe.
posted by Floydd at 7:16 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd totally forgotten about englishrussia. The last time I went digging back in it I think I saw a post about the other Buran and how it wound up trashed when it's hangar collapsed :(
posted by mcrandello at 7:22 PM on April 18, 2013


This is terribly sad. Not sad like Boston bombing, to be sure, but there's no doubt that many Russian engineers and scientists must have devoted their life to a thing that never saw use.
posted by newdaddy at 7:37 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


That would be Buran.

Back in the Cold War days you could get an occasional glimpse of what the Soviets were up to in The Paris Air Shows.
posted by ovvl at 8:24 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Very haunting and surreal and very JG Ballard.
...
I think I would try to have sex with it somehow.


Man, imagine the boners two space shuttles crashing into each other would cause.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:28 PM on April 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


rikschell: "Looks like this is Ptichka."

The FPP article identifies it as OK-MT (a testing vehicle), not Ptichka.
posted by jiawen at 8:30 PM on April 18, 2013


Dude, let's go get a fifth of Jack and go hang out at the abandoned shuttle. I'll bring my boombox and some Aerosmith tapes.
posted by not_on_display at 8:34 PM on April 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


This looks like one of Drax Industries'. Call 007.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:42 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Surely something like this was obscenely expensive. How could they just leave it lying about to rot?

At least it's in a building. For decades Houston left a Saturn V just sitting out in the open, getting rained on and blasted with sun and shat upon by birds.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:47 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


And it was awesome! Putting that Saturn 5 in a fucking shed was so, so stupid.
posted by BeeDo at 9:09 PM on April 18, 2013


Just another cold war weapon-system rotting away fortunately deemed unnecessary. You see, due to all sorts of politics and overambition the shuttle program was designed with military capabilities in mind and was only designed to really be economical with a huge amount of launches per year. The russians surmised that it was designed to carry huge amounts of military hardware into orbit. The Buran was a military program designed as a direct response to the shuttle, designed to display similar military capabilities. It was even designed as an unmanned system first and the manned space program was runned alongside it.
The Shuttle in my opinion was a huge boondoggle and massive amounts of resources were wasted by NASA trying to build a future of spaceflight that was not viable. Certainly a lot was achieved within the program, but a lot more would have been if NASA had not been trying to force a 4-dimensional hypercube through a round hole.
posted by Authorized User at 9:12 PM on April 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


Play safe, Skygazer. Play safe.

Make sure you wear a solid rocket booster. Maybe even two.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:14 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Putting that Saturn 5 in a fucking shed was so, so stupid.

I hope yours is a minority opinion. I personally think the Saturn V Center is amazing and hope to visit it again someday.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:40 PM on April 18, 2013


I don't see this as sad at all. The Russians still have an excellent space program. They were and continue to be very smart, clever, and adventurous space travelers. The not-so-smart went into politics.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:51 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder about the broken windows. Aren't they supposed to be insanely strong?
posted by pakoothefakoo at 10:02 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's a taking-up-space shuttle.

:(
posted by mazola at 10:47 PM on April 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a movie plot for you. The US doesn't
have any operable space shuttles for whatever
emergency, but it turns out the USSR built and
stored several knock-offs.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:37 PM


A sequel to "The Last Chase". One man. One Porsche. Another man. One F-86 Sabre jet. Another man. One Space Shuttle. And a little kid with a razor-sharp boomerang.
posted by surplus at 10:48 PM on April 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's where I put it!
posted by Thorzdad at 4:35 AM on April 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bitch'n summer project. Looks like it just needs little bondo, sanding and a quick Earl Shieb paint job.
posted by klarck at 5:12 AM on April 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man we could fix that sucker up, put some F1s in there, but keep it looking busted on the outside, and then when we pull up to some sucker at the space stoplight, KAPOOOOW! Sleeper drag spaceship baby!
posted by Mister_A at 9:36 AM on April 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


She may not look like much...
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:37 AM on April 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I hope yours is a minority opinion. I personally think the Saturn V Center is amazing and hope to visit it again someday.

We could have gotten two more moon landings for a measly $42 million dollars ('69 dollars). That would be preferable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:33 AM on April 19, 2013


And it was awesome! Putting that Saturn 5 in a fucking shed was so, so stupid.

Wrong ideas make Yuri's ghost sad.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:21 AM on April 19, 2013


I think I would try to have sex with it somehow.
Rocket Limericks
posted by tspae at 11:56 AM on April 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


We could have gotten two more moon landings for a measly $42 million dollars ('69 dollars). That would be preferable.

The center opened in 1996, which would make those moon landings cost (going by straight inflation) about $180 million.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:16 PM on April 19, 2013


The center opened in 1996, which would make those moon landings cost (going by straight inflation) about $180 million.

Let's make it 200 million and throw in some killer parties and upgraded food on the on the mission.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:28 PM on April 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, I remember reading somewhere that as the Soviets were building their Shuttle, the engineers were like "What the hey, this design makes no sense" and were told to just do it. The irony, considering the design by committee standard of the American Shuttle is just too much.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:30 PM on April 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread makes me really want to read Energiya-Buran: the Soviet Space Shuttle. It's on the list...
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 12:52 PM on April 19, 2013


What an amazing thing to find. I wonder if the Kazakh government ever saw these pictures, and if the shuttles are still there.

Some governments are becoming increasingly annoyed with urban explorers.
posted by homunculus at 2:57 PM on April 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


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