Russia’s haunting abandoned hangar photographed

Russia’s haunting abandoned hangar photographed

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Photographer Ralph Mirebs has taken some stunning photographs showing a haunting abandoned hangar in Russia which houses two prototype shuttles belonging to the Buran shuttle programme that was ill-fated. The programme was supposed to mirror the success of NASA and their 30 years. However only a single test flight took place in 1988 of the Buran shuttle, it along with the other vehicles was scrapped.

[Image Courtesy of Roger Ressmeyer]

While the unmanned orbital flight was a success, it and the vehicles were scrapped due to budget cuts and all of the vehicles and equipment were left. The photographs captured by Ralph Mirebs shows off the eeriness of the abandoned hangar, which was once a hub of activity being situated close to the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

The space shuttles take on the appearance of those of NASA as the design was thought to be the best design for a vehicle to go into orbit. Other people believe that espionage was involved.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

The Buran shuttle was to launched on the Energia booster, again this was a lot like the booster rockets that were used by the orbiters of the Space Shuttle.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

The Buran vehicles came with their engines at the back, again another design of the Space Shuttles, along with two wings so there could be a controlled landing when the shuttle came back down to earth.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

The programmes development started in 1976 and the capable of operations in orbit and then returning back to earth.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

The USSR dissolved in 1993 and the space programme was scrapped at this time even though several models along with test vehicles had been built. These have ended up in museums.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

The two shuttles however were left in the hangar along with their basic structure remaining intact.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

The abandoned hangar measured 433 feet in length by 203 feet in height and this is known as the largest building located at the Baikonur Cosmodrone. The gates of the hangar allowing the shuttles to pass through them are 138 feet by 118 feet.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

The structure is made from steel that has been reinforced so as to provide protection from shockwaves. It is also said to be a clean room without dust and the doors from the central area would be sealed.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

There are three beam cranes spanning the ceiling and each of them would be able to lift about 400 tons. The cranes of course would be used to move the equipment or the shuttles around.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

Some of the shuttles interiors were missing equipment; however they still held the computer screens and pilot seating.

[Image Courtesy of Ralph Mirebs]

Via [DailyMail]