The Russian space shuttle – Buran.
Catriona takes us on a space odyssey.
Dr Scully-Power, Australia's first astronaut.
Budding astronauts, here's your chance to get into the cockpit of an original space shuttle. Take the controls, see flight footage and be guided into space.
Buran means "snow storm" in Russian and the Buran No 2 is the only real space shuttle to be placed on public display, thanks to Dr Paul Scully-Power, Australia's first astronaut. This unique spacecraft is the result of a development program costing more than US$14 billion.
The Buran is 36m long and has a wingspan of 24m. It is 17m high and has a total take-off mass of 105 tonnes. More than 36,000 silica tiles and carbon leading edges provide amazing heat protection for re-entry from space.
Its first flight was in November 1985, the last was in April 1988. It travelled into space 25 times during that period and across its incredible speed range from 25 times the speed of sound when in orbit down to a crawl of 225kph on landing the craft remains stable and controllable.
It took Dr Scully-Power two-and-a-half years to arrange to have the Buran transported from the top-secret Zhukovsky military airfield to Sydney, where it will stay for two years before travelling to other capital cities. Its circuitous route through the Panama Canal, past New Zealand, to Brisbane and finally to Sydney took only a couple of weeks, but it has taken more than six months to put the shuttle together.
The Buran has never landed on another planet but was used in secret missions, such as spying on the Americans. The US had not classified their space shuttle design and the Russians built the Buran to be almost identical on the outside to the American shuttles.
Visitors cannot walk through the whole aircraft, but can go into the cockpit, crew quarters, to the rocket boosters in the fuselage and out through the tail.
An interactive section includes briefing monitors and touch screens with information on the tour.
In the mission control interactive theatre you can go on a simulated shuttle, wearing special glasses while you are guided into space. In the preview room you can see footage of the Buran taking off and learn about the space race between the Americans and Russians before the fall of the Soviet Union.
Darling Island in Sydney's Darling Harbour.
CostBuran Space Shuttle
tours cost $19.50 for adults, $12 for children or $45 for a family of four. Tours last one hour and the exhibit is open seven days a week.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
More informationBuran Space Shuttle
phone Ticketek for information and bookings.
(02) 9266 4800
(02) 9266 4831 (group bookings)