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Soviet Space Shuttle Found In Bahrain?

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the grain-of-salt dept.

Space 401

An anonymous reader writes "German news source Spiegel are reporting (english babelfish translation) that some TV journalists have found a seemingly abandoned Russian space shuttle in the Persian Gulf. It looks like it could be the atmospheric test demonstrator Buran OK-GLI which was in Sydney, Australia. Pictures here (external) and here (internal). Boy, what I would give to be able to sit in that seat and flip those switches!" Another reader, grm_wnr writes "German tabloid newspaper Bild reports that a russian Buran shuttle has been found in the Bahrain desert. Here is the story (in german, Google translation here). What's funny is that noone knows how it ended up there. At least the fate of one of the four Buran prototypes is now confirmed." There is not much confirmation on this, outside of a few pictures... let the reader beware.

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401 comments

huh? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339693)

Did they find the slashdot cruser too?

Nie (0, Offtopic)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339885)

Ze spaze shootel izt shid. uze ze roked.

Funny... (2, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339700)

...how much that thing looks like the US space shuttle.

Re:Funny... (0, Offtopic)

JaffaKREE (766802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339731)

It actually looks like the US space shuttle - if it were made out of legos.

Re:Funny... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339909)

Have you seen a US space shuttle up close? It has those tiles too. They make up most of the heat shielding so the shuttle doesn't burn up on reentry. The absence of heat shielding (due to it being knocked off by other insulating foam) is part of the reason the Columbia broke up on reentry last year.

Re:Funny... (3, Interesting)

DaHat (247651) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339743)

I heard a former Russian engineer respond to a thought like that once... that the shape was governed by aerodynamics, that there are only so many configurations a functioning craft like that could take and they too independently came up with a similar one to the Americans.

I had also heard a NASA engineer respond a little later saying that if the Russians asked for the plans for the shuttle, that he doubted that NASA would have said no.

Re:Funny... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339862)

I heard you're full of crap. I also heard Einstein say the same thing while drinking tea with Karl Marx.

Re:Funny... (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339867)

ive heard the same thing (on the history channel)

it is actually public record. i believe they got the plans in what would probably be considered espionage? but had they just filed a FOIA request they would have gotten it legally.

anyone remember the specific history?

Re:Funny... (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339874)

That first response sounds like a big load of horse hockey to me. While there is a nugget of truth to the statement (it still has to be aerodynamic), regular aircraft have the same limitations. Look at the wide variety of aircraft designs in the world today.

It wouldn't be so bad if the Soviets had at least given it a different paint job, but from the outside it looks like a complete rip-off. I would be curious to learn just how different they are on the inside. People are claiming that it is original on the inside, but other than Soviet propaganda what do we have to go on?

Re:Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339924)

"regular aircraft have the same limitations. Look at the wide variety of aircraft designs in the world today"

Yeah, and they regularly take off vertically with 2500 tons of thrust, and re-enter the atmosphere at Mach 25. Great comparison, ass-master.

Re:Funny... (5, Interesting)

pbranes (565105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339778)

Check out the wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuttle_Buran [wikipedia.org]

It looks like the US shuttle on the outside, but inside it is totally different. Interestingly enough, in many ways it is superior to the US space shuttle - for example if could do everything automated - including the landing.

Re:Funny... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339868)

Except that the US shuttle does an automated landing as well. Didn't you know that?

Re:Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339888)

Sure, the US shuttle can now. It couldn't back when Buran could.

Re:Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339943)

Dear ignorant dumbass, it always could, but to flatter the ego of the pilot, it was never used.

Re:Funny... (0, Redundant)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339957)

including the landing.

err - our shuttles can land automated as well..

Most jetliners too. Humans are there just to make the passengers warm and fuzzy.

including the landing. (5, Informative)

dpilot (134227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339982)

The shuttle not being able to land was a conscious decision. Opening the landing gear doors is one of those actions that cannot be undone except in the service bay. When the Shuttle was being designed, they were quite frightened about the way computers had to be integrated, and their dependence on them. Hence the fabled 5-way, multiple fail system. The thing was designed to be recoverable from just about *any* computer glitch. But a glitch that opened the doors too early would cause a bad day, with no chance of recovery. They left the decision to open the landing gear up to a human.

Other than that, the shuttle can land automatically, too.

Re:Funny... (3, Funny)

perly-king-69 (580000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339780)

Just like Concorde [wikipedia.org] and the Soviet TU144 [wikipedia.org] aka Concordski!

Re:Funny... (1)

Mister Transistor (259842) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339846)

How about the B-29 [historylea...site.co.uk] and the TU-4 [lucia.it] ?

Re:Funny... (5, Interesting)

wwest4 (183559) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339786)

In an old defense industry job I had, they still had cold war era security warnings around the buildings. They were printed two-tone on posterboard with war propaganda cartoons and obnoxious fonts... one had pictures comparing our shuttle to theirs, and the F-15 to the Mig-29, etc, with the heading "Somebody Talked!" Since they were propaganda sheets, I don't know if there was any truth behind the idea that the Russians actually spied to get ideas for their shuttle, or just copied the basic airframe by looking at it. Looks pretty damning superficially, at least.

Re:Funny... (3, Interesting)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339899)

realistically, it is not like stealing how a new car looks.
All the things that fly require a great deal of design "inside" to work well with what "outside". Similarities in COncorde and Tu144 and in Buran and "classic" shuttle are caused by aerodynamics. Both machines had to perform in identical environments so no wonder they come out looking the same. Kind of mechanical darvinism at work.

The only exception I know of is the B-29. Soviets got hold of several shut down over Europe and replicated it bolt-by-bolt (Tu-4?).

Re:Funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339901)

Whether they spied to get the designs or not, it's worth noting that both the Buran and the MiG-29 are considered superior to their american counterparts. In fact, I heard an urban legend that American pilots were instructed to avoid MiG-29's in combat due to the technical superiority of that design.

Re:Funny... (2, Insightful)

eutychus_awakes (607787) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339804)

It is, of course, no accident. If you look closely, you'll see that there are some subtle differences - Buran doesn't have main engines at the back, for example. All the launch/orbital injection thrust comes from the Energia booster. This actually improves the Buran's flight performance, as the US Shuttle has a weight/balance/stability issue with those heavy main engines at the back - precisely where you DON'T want weight if you're flying.

What I imagine happened is the Soviet engineering team was shown a picture of the US Shuttle during development, and that mental snapshot railroaded their thinking to produce what we have today. When it comes right down to it, engineers are the masters of copying other people's work - whether consciously or not. Once you see what a Space Shuttle looks like, it's hard to get your mind off that configuration. . .

Re:Funny... (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339816)

Well, there are a lot of major differences between the two. For one thing, Buran has no main engines, whereas the NASA STS orbiters do.

Re:Funny... (1)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339887)

Lots of other differences too, namely STS actually made it to orbit!! I was told by an old Shuttle guy during my days at NASA that the Buran had a number of stability issues as well as a lack of advanced computers to handle the automatic flyback. The program was cancelled due to those issues. IIRC, the Thermal Protection System (Tiles) was never really tested either. So, it was a LONG way from ever going into orbit. The cost to complete the Buran was very high and thus it was never finished. Hmmm..seems like the Russians were smarter that the USA. We are STILL paying for the Shuttle problems and we have lost 14 astronauts as well. If Russia wants to launch some guys into orbit they pull out a tried and true (yet simple) Soyuz, fuel up an Energia and off they go, we on the other hand take up an old very high mileage school bus held together with chewing gum.

Re:Funny... (1)

BigGerman (541312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339917)

Just for the record, Buran flew twice, both times to orbit and unmanned.

Re:Funny... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339914)

It was well known that it was stolen during the Nixon Admin. What is sad is that no matter how secure you are, information can always be stolen.

ph1st ph0st n1gg3r b1tch3z! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339701)

0wn3d j00 ph4gg0tz!

In Soviet Russia (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339702)

The SPACE SHUTTLE finds YOU!

Kill the GNAA and Furries

Nie (2, Funny)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339704)

Njet. WE zont need ze bakup systems. We need moore thruzt .

Grain of Salt (5, Interesting)

RainbowBrite (524252) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339705)

I'm am definitely sceptical. I live in Bahrain and it is about three times the size of Washington DC. I think I would have heard of this. I do not see an exact location in the story. If I can find one I will go check it out.

Re:Grain of Salt (5, Interesting)

troggan (118761) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339776)

http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/weltraum/0,1518 ,319521,00.html

(Sorry, only German)

The Location is Secret. The Shuttle is only "parked" there.

A German Museum has bought it and is waiting to ship it to Germany. The Museum has bought many things like this in the past (Tupolew TU-144, a Concord...)

Re:Grain of Salt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339792)

I'm am definitely sceptical.

Yeah, me too. Its probably one that the US lost.

Re:Grain of Salt (3, Funny)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339853)

I agree with the poster.

Bahrain is a small island about ten miles wide and twenty miles long. It is long known as an important trading center in the Gulf where fundamentalists don't impose arbitrary social restrictions on international business.

The idea that a space shuttle could fall from the sky and land here undamaged as opposed to any point in the millions of square miles of ocean on the Earth's surface is absurd. Suppose the navigational on-board computer was damaged and it missed landing in the Soviet Union. It still would have gone into the ocean or broken up.

Maybe someone bought it under the table and then was told that it was going to be used to create an international incident, so they towed it out to the desert where it would be found and assumed that it had fallen from the sky.
Maybe some enterprising Russians sold it to someone with a lot of money (hmmm, anyone like that in Bahrain?) and convinced them that they could use it to begin an Islamic space program. Then they towed it out to the desert before anyone found out how gullible and backward they were (or how much money they got taken for).

Killing myself (1)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339892)

Maybe some enterprising Russians sold it to someone with a lot of money (hmmm, anyone like that in Bahrain?) and convinced them that they could use it to begin an Islamic space program. Then they towed it out to the desert before anyone found out how gullible and backward they were (or how much money they got taken for).

Hahaha that was great, I laughed so hard I probably extended my life by a good few minutes!

Islamic space program :-) it is perfect!

How did I get here? (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339707)

What's funny is that noone knows how it ended up there.

Uhhh... it flew?

OK, not under its own power. But it had to be flown, right? So that's how.

Re:How did I get here? (2, Insightful)

Nexus7 (2919) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339818)

There was a transporter aircraft, a modified Antonov An-124, I think. Or a Myasischev (sp?). The CCCP definitely had it's pick, the russians always had great transport planes.

Re:How did I get here? (0, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339891)

Well yeah, who wants to cross Russia on the ground? Certainly not the russians.

Re:How did I get here? (4, Interesting)

Itsik (191227) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339852)

What scares me is that if they lost such a huge spacecarft can you imagine what else they could have easily "misplaced" without anyone knowing???

Re:How did I get here? (1)

Tenebrious1 (530949) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339875)

Uhhh... it flew? OK, not under its own power. But it had to be flown, right? So that's how.

The US shuttles are piggybacked on a specially outfitted 747. If I had to guess, customizing a 747 to carry the Buran would cost more than it's worth. And it's been 10 years since that thing was rated airworthy... I wouldn't want to pilot the 747 with a big pile of junk on the back which could disintegrate at any time and damage my own plane, or lose the lift of the shuttle's wings.

Since it's never going to fly again, it was probably dismantled and sent by ship. People would have noticed it piggybacked on a 747, but probably wouldn't notice one stuffed in the hold of a cargo ship.

Re:How did I get here? (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339944)

Its an athmorspheric test version. It did 20 flights on its own, so its quite possible it landed there...
or it was just shipped there with a ship, it isnt THAT large.

Is this the one that overran the runway way back w (4, Interesting)

pillageplunder (183475) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339708)

Folks remember the pics back in the 80's of one of the prototypes sitting bogged in mud at the end of a runway taxi test?

Who? (1, Funny)

savagedome (742194) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339709)

What's funny is that noone knows how it ended up there.

Who is this Mr. noone you talk about?

Re:Who? (2, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339765)

He's a character in the comic strip "Family Circus", along with Ida Know, and Notme.

Re:Who? (1)

Rev Wally (814101) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339877)

Why, oh why did you have to reference the Family Circus!!! It just sits on the comic page, in the lower right corner, just waiting to suck.

Re:Who? (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339783)

I know, what a looser. Who's the moran who spell checked this story anyway?

Re:Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339821)

Who? [slashdot.org]


What's funny is that noone knows how it ended up there.

Who is this Mr. noone you talk about?


Jasper 'Buddy' Noone, in Bloodwork [imdb.com] .

Noone was played by Jeff Daniels [imdb.com] .

IN SOVIET RUSSIA ... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339710)

Space Shuttle finds you!

Parking (5, Funny)

Nos. (179609) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339716)

What's funny is that noone knows how it ended up there
You ever tried to parallel park one of those things... trust me its easier just to park it in the desert.

This must be the fabled... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339720)

...Noah's space shuttle.

Space Camp (3, Funny)

cyb3rllama (625448) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339724)

Hey, that's the shuttle simulator I used at Space Camp back in 1987. ;) How'd it get out there?

I will personally kill (1)

mrak018 (736017) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339727)

anyone who touched our Buran!

We in Russia badly need it home!!!

Trolls (2, Funny)

Ghotli (670032) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339730)

God, here come the "In Soviet Russia" trolls.

IN SOVIET RUSSIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339740)

Trolls come to YOU!

If you insist (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339758)

In Soviet Russia, Space Shuttle finds You!

the internal pic begs for captioning... (3, Funny)

CheechBG (247105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339738)

"So which one of these buttons turns on the hyperdrive? I need to get the hell out of Tatooine... /watched way too much Star Wars the past few days :)

seriously (2, Informative)

ilovelinux (129476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339749)

tell me this wouldn't be the coolest find ever. One day you're walking out in the wilderness and you find a spacecraft.

If they did actually abandon it out in the desert (which I find unbelievable, you think they would lock it up in a hanger or something), it's probably been completely gutted for the cool parts anyway.

Did this thing actually get used at all?

Re:seriously (1)

glass_window (207262) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339836)

If you look closely at the internal picture, it's actually missing most of the instruments that (I would assume) belong in those holes in the dash and now have wires hanging out of them.

Re:seriously (1)

ilovelinux (129476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339858)

ah they are missing indeed. Got caught not checking out articles again!

Lost? (3, Informative)

BannedfrompostingAC (799263) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339759)

How could it be "lost"? Bahrain is only about 650km squared in size.

Re:Lost? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339937)

I think you mean 650 square kilometers -- 650km squared is 422500 square km.

Re:Lost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339973)

how do you lose your keys in your house ;)

probably the scale of things are similar.

plus once you are in a sandy area, for instance a desert, it can be a bit of a problem

Madonna's Response (English Babelfish Translation) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339760)

BLIKK: Madonna, Budapest says hello with arms that are spread-eagled. Did you have a visit here that was agreeable? Are you in good odor? You are the biggest fan of our young people who hear your musical productions and like to move their bodies in response.

MADONNA: Thank you for saying these compliments (holds up hands). Please stop with taking sensationalist photographs until I have removed my garments for all to see. (laughs). This is a joke I have made.

BLIKK: Madonna, let's cut to toward the hunt. Are you a bold hussy-woman that feasts on men who are tops?

MADONNA: Yes, yes, this is certainly something that brings to the surface my longings. In America it is not considered to be mentally ill when a woman advances on her prey in a discotheque setting with hardy cocktails present. And there is a more normal attitude toward leather play-toys that also makes my day.

BLIKK: Is this how you met Carlos, your love servant who is reputed? Did you know he was heaven-sent right off the stick? Or were you dating many other people in your bed at the same time?

MADONNA: No, he was the only one I was dating in my bed then, so it is a scientific fact that the baby was made in my womb using him. But as regards those questions, enough! I am a woman and not a test-mouse! Carlos is an everyday person who is in the orbit of a star who is being muscle-trained by him, not a sex machine.

BLIKK: May we talk about your other "baby," your movie, then? Please do not be denying that the similarities between you and the real Evita are grounded in basis. Power, money, tasty-food, Grammys -- all these elements are afoot.

MADONNA: What is up in the air with you? Evita never was winning a Grammy!

BLIKK: Perhaps not. But as to your film, in trying to bring your reputation along a rocky road, can you make people forget the bad explosions of Who's That Girl? and Shanghai Surprise?

MADONNA: I am a tip-top starlet. That is the job that I am paid to do.

BLIKK: O.K. here's a question from left space. What was your book Slut about?

MADONNA: It was called Sex, my book.

BLIKK: Not in Hungary. Here it was called Slut. How did it come to publish? Were you lovemaking with a man-about-town printer? Do you prefer making suggestive literature to fast selling CD's?

MADONNA: These are different facets to my career highway. I am preferring only to become respected all over the map as a 100% artist.

BLIKK: There is much interest in you from this geographical region, so I must ask this final questions. How many Hungarian men have you dated in bed? Are they No. 1? How are they comparing to Argentine men, who are famous for being tip-top as well?

MADONNA: Well, to avoid aggravating global tension, I won't say. It's a tie (laughs). No, no, I am serious now. See here I am working like a canine all the way around the clock! I am too busy even to try the goulash the makes your country for the record books.

BLIKK: Thank you for your candid chitchat.

MADONNA: No problem, friend who is a girl.

Stop press! (5, Informative)

grm_wnr (781219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339762)

Well, in the meantime I have a non-machine translation of the Bild article ready. Note that I seem to have my facts wrong: 1. It IS known how the shuttle ended up there 2. The fate of the other three prototypes is known. This is due to the fact that I actually got hold of this information in a newspaper (the Welt, and grabbed the first relevant link I could find. The newspaper article had some facts quite different, and I don't know which source to trust more. Anyway, here is the Bild text:
German tourist wants to buy lost russian shuttle Russian spacecraft lands in arab desert by DITTMAR JURKO (image caption: The russian shuttle was deemed lost for years und was now found in the arab desert) Moscow - It was the most ambitious project of the russian space program, code named "Buran" (snowstorm): The first space flight with a russian space shuttle! The flight was a success, but experts have been wondering ever since where the four prototypes went. Now BILD readers have found one of the russian space gliders in the arab desert! Volker Hartmann (54) from Schaumburg, Chris G. Maier (32) from Düsseldorf and Kai Niedermeier (39) from solingen met the crown prince of the island state Bahrain, Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa (34). He told him of the hiding place: "We drove near the border to Saudi-Arabia in a jeep. There was the shuttle - covered and abandoned." The glider is the "Buran 002", one of the four airworthy space ships of this type. 36,67 metrs long and 17,37 meters high. She took off 25 times. 1993 the space project was cancelled. A Saudi bought the shuttle, but forgot it in the desert. And the other spacecraft? One was destroyed, one dismantled, the mothership is now on display in Moscow's Gorky Park. One of the german finders now wants to buy the "Buran 002" for 300,000 dollars, and go on a world tour with it: "The sheik approves".

Re:Stop press! (2, Funny)

troon (724114) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339851)

Volker Hartmann (54) from Schaumburg

I preferred Google's "foam castle" translation of Schaumburg.

Re:Stop press! (4, Informative)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339902)

According the Spiegel website (yes, I can read German), the shuttle was purchased by the Automobile and Aerospace Museum in Sinsheim, near Heidelberg. That sounds quite plausible to me, as that museum has a very impressive collections of cars inside the museum and a large collection of aircraft sitting outside the museum. Some of the aircraft are open to visitors to walk into.

If anyone find themselves in southwestern Germany, and is interested in this sort of thing, I would strongly recommend going to visit this museum. It was quite interesting even to someone like me. Even though I don't find cars interesting and aircraft only mildly interesting, I still enjoyed this museum. Seeing the full-size aircraft in person instead of in pictures is a worthwhile experience. The presence of the Buran shuttle would make it even better.

Sinsheim Museum (1)

MonkeyCookie (657433) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339992)

By the way, the Wikipedia has a page [wikipedia.org] about the museum in Sinsheim.

Buran history (5, Interesting)

Leomania (137289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339764)

I read with great interest the history [astronautix.com] of Buran on astronautix.com. Man, once I found that site I burned several hours reading about the N1 program, Buran, just tons of Soviet-era information that I had no idea was out there. Amazing that the N1 engines were bought by an American company and will end up being used; great story about how they were squirreled away after being ordered destroyed.

I was amazed to learn that Buran flew into space completely by remote control. Kudos to the Russians for this feat.

- Leo

Where it came from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339767)

A friend in germany pointed this story out to me yesterday. he said he knew of its origins from some russian friends. in short when USSR was doing flight testing of the Buran they simply used standard MIG engines. during one of the tests(in the pacific) they had some engine problems and had to do a forced landing. Rather than bring the shuttle back to Russia they just stripped all the important equipment, packed up and went home and left the shuttle shell there.

In the mean time (2, Informative)

triptolemeus (538604) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339768)

I already posted this one here two days ago, but it got rejected, no wonder that things have happened. The shuttle already got sold to the German Sinsheimer Museum (for cars and technik). More info here [spiegel.de] . Sorry it is in german and my company doesn't allow translations.

But... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339777)

How did a potato chip get all the way here from Brazil?

Re:But... (3, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339789)

For that matter how did a coconut get to england? Are you suggesting that coconuts are migratory?

It was stolen (5, Funny)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339779)

Some cosmonauts left it idling in front of a convenience store while they ran in for some smokes and carbs. When they came out it was gone. Apparently it ended up in a Bahrain chop shop and the parts ended up on eBay. The pictures tell the rest of the story.

Not Noone again! (2, Funny)

AyeRoxor! (471669) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339781)

What's funny is that noone knows how it ended up there.

I went to school with Chuck Noone. He was always getting in these kinds of situations... I'll have to track that ol' devil down...

/no-one

Gee...kinda similar to the US shuttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339782)

RE: Copy of US Shuttle

Time for RIAA and SCO to send Russia a lawsuit for billions of dollars for copying valuable IP!

Broken down... (2, Funny)

elcheesmo (646907) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339787)

Was there a white cloth tied to the antenna or door?

Nostalgia (1)

CrazyTalk (662055) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339795)

Ahh, remember the good old days of manned space travel and rapid advances in aeronautics. Seems like just yesterday.

How'd It Get There? (4, Funny)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339801)

Christ, haven't you guys ever watched Close Encounter Of The Third Kind?

How can I? (4, Funny)

robpoe (578975) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339814)

How do I buy it for $5 (10000000 rubles) and bring it home? It would make a cool yard ornament, definately a sort of "I'm a better redneck than you -- instead of cars on blocks, I have a RUSSIAN SPACE SHUTTLE, BIAOTCH!!!".. *sigh* oh well...Guess not..

This is funny... (-1, Offtopic)

Couzin2000 (797592) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339828)

... cause when I think how many people are gonna read about this, and how many of those will just be flat out believers of whatever bull-crap story NASA or the US Gov or even the news are gonna serve them, it just boggles my mind.

This is exactly what happened when americans elected Bush to be president... since that day, the lies have kept getting bigger, and bigger, and the level of the stench of the SH** we're all in keeps getting higher, and higher... When are people gonna understand that this is all a huge telephone game?

MOD PARENT: -1 INCOHERENT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339942)

What the hell is he rambling on about?

The second half of the story (5, Informative)

teslar (706653) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339831)

Also at the Spiegel, the shuttle in question appears to have been bought [spiegel.de] by a German Museum and the reason why it's in Bahrain is because it was supposed to be shown at an exhibition in 2002. However that never happened and a legal struggle resulted, which is apparently still going on and left the shuttle stranded in Bahrain, the exact location being kept secret.

Close Encounters... (1)

Savage Conan (736365) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339833)

reminds me of the scene from Close Encounters where they find the boats and airplanes in the desert

Ebay (5, Funny)

bp2179 (765697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339834)

Lets see how long this takes before it ends up on Ebay.

1 slightly used space shuttle prototype.....

Likely a Structural Test Article (5, Informative)

Spencerian (465343) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339837)

This find is likely similar to the STS structural test article vehicle--an engineering-exact duplicate of an Orbiter vehicle used for tests in the early days of the Space Shuttle program in America. The Russians needed something similar, obviously.

Our STA, STA-099, was retrofitted after it was clear that retrofitting the test Orbiter Enterprise would be too costly. So, STA-099 become OV-099, Challenger. There might have been much gnashing of teeth to have seen Enterprise destroyed on that cold January day in 1986 for some fanboys than Challenger, I would think--not to belittle that death of a vehicle or its crew would seem any more or less important based on its name.

Everything you want to know about the Buran program in Russian, amongst many other space information, can be found at this popular and comprehensive web site. [astronautix.com]

What the Russians didn't publicize (3, Interesting)

kippy (416183) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339838)

I just told a coworker who grew up in Romania under the Soviet influence about this. He said that it was sort of common knowledge that Yuri Gagarin was by far not the first human in space. Rather, he was the first one to come back.

Of course, there's no way to prove that one way or the other but it does illustrate the fact that the soviets didn't have the "burden" of a free press to publicize when things went really haywire as this shuttle seems to have.

Re:What the Russians didn't publicize (2, Interesting)

madprof (4723) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339995)

If this is the case then how come the western media has not picked up on these stories before?
This would be a significant change to our established history of space exploration.

Mock-up? Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339847)

...a "Rather-ized" story???

Cover up (1)

still cynical (17020) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339855)

What they're NOT reporting is that the Buran was found along with an ENTIRE SQUADRON of Grumman Avengers that disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle over 50 years ago.

Anyone up for a trip to Wyoming?

Re:Cover up (2, Funny)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339940)

This is the problem with Slashdot... I can't tell if you are being funny or are serious and one of those paranoid conspiracy theory types. We need a mod catagory for that, like +1 crazy, or -1 depending how you look at it.

Buran in Sydney (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339863)

We toured the Buran in Sydney when it was an ill-fated tourist attraction. It was a very nice exhibit, video on Soviet space accomplishments and it included sitting in the actual cockpit.

The Buran in Sydney lacked the navigation avionics, leaving a rather large empty space in the deck below the cockpit. The Russians removed that before they exported the shuttle. The guide claimed the avionics were heavily borrowed from Russian ICBMs and had even included targeting data for U.S. sites.

It's sad that Buran failed as a tourist attraction.

Will be shown at the Technik Museum at Sinsheim (5, Informative)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339865)

This article [spiegel.de] (in german) reports that the Technik Museum Sinsheim [museum-sinsheim.de] has bought the shuttle for an undisclosed six figure sum.

The Technik Museum Sinsheim [museum-sinsheim.de] already has a Concorde, the Tupolev TU144 (soviet counterpart of the Concorde), and a Porsche 959, "The blue Flame" and a lot of others tech stuff.

The shuttle will be kept in good company :-)

Probably a fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339866)

Based on the lack of corroborating evidence I'd guess it's a fake, but I can't imagine how they would doctor photos like that. Any gimp experts in the house?

oh my god. (4, Funny)

flacco (324089) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339886)

Boy, what I would give to be able to sit in that seat and flip those switches!

yeah, then you could go watch spongebob in your footie-pajamas, and drink hi-c from your sippie-cup!

actually, that sounds kind of fun.

Next week's National Enquirer (1)

elflet (570757) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339889)

Headline in the supermarkets next week: "Lost Atlantean shuttle found in the desert. New 'Bermuda Triangle' to blame."

Looks like it's made of Legos. (1)

penginkun (585807) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339896)

The way the heat tiles are laid it looks like it's made of Legos.

Re:Looks like it's made of Legos. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339985)

ARGH!

It's LEGO. Multiple Lego bricks are NOT called "Legos". Idiot.

Scene from CE3K (1)

zentinal (602572) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339921)

Did anyone else immediately think of the scene in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" where the Navy patrol planes were found in the middle of the desert?

I think it's obvious (1)

vivarey (764492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339969)

There's only one logical explanation for this- Russian Time Travel experiments. The timeline is in danger, folks. We need an eclectic group of geeks and scientists to stop this meddling before the Cold War turns into World War III. So who's with me?! Coming Summer 2006 to a theater near you.

Check out "the supermagnifying glass" (3, Informative)

Lispy (136512) | more than 9 years ago | (#10339979)

on the lower right corner of that Bild.de [t-online.de] link. ;-)

Now you can see all those small details Nasa doesnt want you to know about. Geez, this must be the lamest incarnation of digital zoom I ever saw. But then again, Bild is germanies most unreliable newssource anyway so I have to wonder why it was linked to on /.

Reliable sources of information? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10339993)

I believe that "Bild" is the German equivalent of the US's "National Enquirer" or the UK's "Sunday Sport". These are hardly reliable sources of information!

Standards are slipping here...

-KB
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