by Christopher
3 minutes read


Buran: A Soviet Space Shuttle Simulator


Buran was a space shuttle simulator developed by the Soviet Union in the late 1980s. It was designed to train cosmonauts for missions aboard the Buran spacecraft, a reusable spaceplane that was intended to rival the American Space Shuttle. Buran was never used for actual space missions, but it served as a valuable training tool and provided valuable insights into the challenges of spaceflight.


Buran is a highly realistic simulator that recreates the experience of piloting a space shuttle. Players take control of the shuttle during all phases of a mission, from launch to landing. The simulation includes accurate models of the shuttle’s systems, including its engines, control surfaces, and life support systems.

Players must use the shuttle’s controls to navigate through space, dock with other spacecraft, and perform a variety of tasks, such as satellite deployment and spacewalks. Buran also features a number of emergency scenarios, such as engine failures and system malfunctions, that players must learn to handle.

Graphics and Sound

For its time, Buran’s graphics were impressive. The shuttle and its surroundings were rendered in 3D, and the simulation included a variety of realistic effects, such as smoke, fire, and explosions. The sound effects were also well-done, and they helped to create a immersive experience.

Technical Limitations

Despite its realism, Buran was limited by the technology of its time. The graphics, while impressive for the late 1980s, would be considered crude by today’s standards. The simulation also lacked some of the features that are common in modern space shuttle simulators, such as the ability to control the shuttle’s robotic arm.


Buran was never used for actual space missions, but it served as a valuable training tool for cosmonauts. The simulator provided them with a realistic experience of the challenges of spaceflight, and it helped them to prepare for the day when they would finally fly into space.

Buran also provides a valuable historical record of the Soviet space program. It is one of the few remaining examples of a Soviet space shuttle simulator, and it offers a unique glimpse into the technology and training methods of the era.


Buran was a groundbreaking space shuttle simulator that provided cosmonauts with a realistic experience of the challenges of spaceflight. Despite its technical limitations, it remains a valuable historical artifact and a testament to the ingenuity of the Soviet space program.

Additional Information

  • Buran was developed by the NPO Energia space agency.
  • The simulator was first used in 1989.
  • Buran was used to train cosmonauts for the planned Buran space missions.
  • The Buran spacecraft was never used for actual space missions.
  • Buran is now on display at the Technik Museum in Speyer, Germany.

Review Score


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More