Ralph Mirebs, an urban explorer and photographer in Russia, has revealed extraordinary photos of Soviet space shuttle prototypes gathering dust in an abandoned hangar in Kazakhstan.
The Buran prototype shuttles found by Mirebs, however, are from an earlier era – they are the last remnants of a space program that began in 1974 and was finally shuttered in 1993. The only operational Buran shuttle, Orbiter 1K1, completed one unmanned orbital flight before it was grounded. Unfortunately, this shuttle was destroyed in a hangar collapse in 2002.
Hopefully, MIrebs’ photos will inspire the Russian government to put these shuttles in a museum where they belong.