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Research & Industrial Corporation

NPO Molniya, 6 Novoposelkovaya Street, Moscow 123459, Russia
Tel: +7 095 497 5930; Fax:+ 7 095 497 4723
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Bor Experimental Space Vehicles

In the course of the BURAN orbiter development, suborbital and orbital launches of BOR-4 and BOR-5 flight vehicles have been produced for aerodynamic analysis and working capacity of thermal protection structures verification.

The BOR-4 flight vehicle is the scaled (1:2) copy
of the SPIRAL. It has a tilting wing as well as the SPIRAL. During works at the SPIRAL system the BOR-4 wasn't launched but it was decided to use the BOR-4 for the BURAN orbiter thermal protection tests. The real construction components - flexible thermal protection, quartz fibrous tiles and fuselage nose cap made of "carbon-carbon" material - have been installed on it. The BOR-4 vehicle, 1,5 tons by weight, was put into the orbit of 225 km by 65M-RB5 ballistic rocket and after doing one circle around the Earth descended along a trajectory close to the BURAN trajectory
The BOR-4 flight vehicle was totally launched 5 times: one suborbital launch for the whole complex examination, and 4 orbital launches, specified as:

COSMOS 1374 - June, 4, 1982
COSMOS 1445 - March, 16,1983
COSMOS 1517 - December, 27, 1983
COSMOS 1616 - December, 19,1984

In the first two launches the vehicles splashed down into the Indian Ocean about 900 km to the west of Australia, in the following two - into the Black Sea to the west of the Crimea peninsula. They failed to find one of the vehicles splashed down into the Black Sea, the others were raised on board by our military ships.

The BOR-4 flight vehicle essentially differed from that of the BURAN orbiter aerodynamic scheme and could not be used for aerodynamic researches. Thus the geometrically scaled (1:8) BURAN model was manufactured. It was specified as BOR-5.
BOR-5 The main aerodynamic characteristics, thermal and acoustic loads were determined, stability was evaluated on this model. The BOR-5 flight vehicle was put into suborbit by K65M-RB5 rocket launched from Kapustniy Yar toward the lake of Balhash.

Five flying model launches were produced:

model 501 - July, 6,1984
model 502 - April, 17, 1985
model 503 - December, 27, 1986
model 504 - August, 27, 1987
model 505 - June, 27, 1988

The flights of the SPIRAL prototype and BOR-4 and BOR-5 flying vehicles have allowed not only to speed up the BURAN orbiter development, but also to justify the choice of the aerodynamic scheme of the orbital stage of the advanced MAKS aerospace system.

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