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Ptichka (spacecraft)

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Ptichka ("Птичка" meaning "little bird" in Russian) is an informal nickname for the second Space Shuttle to be produced as part of the Buran program . It was never officially named. It is also known as Shuttle 1.02. It is distinguishable from the other shuttles by a red framework attached to the top of its cargo bay doors.

"Ptichka" was also an informal nickname for all of the space shuttle orbiters. However, the formal theme for the whole orbiter project was "Stormy Weather" and "Burya" ("Буря" meaning "tempest" in Russian) was mentioned as a likely name for the spacecraft.

Construction

Construction of the second orbiter started in 1988, and although the orbiter was closest to being completed of any of the Buran shuttles (after the Shuttle Buran), it was never finished. The program was officially canceled in 1993, at which point the shuttle was 95-97% complete.

Projected flights

Projected flights as of 1989:

  • 1991 - unmanned first flight, with a duration of 1-2 days.
  • 1992 - unmanned second flight, with a duration of 7-8 days. Orbital maneuvers and space station approach test.

Changed in 1991:

  • December 1991 - unmanned second flight, with a duration of 7-8 days. Orbital maneuvers and space station approach test:
  • automatic docking with Mir's Kristall module.
  • crew transfer from Mir to the shuttle, with testing of some of its systems in the course of twenty-four hours, including *the remote manipulator.
  • undocking and autonomous flight in orbit.
  • docking of the manned Soyuz-TM 101 with the shuttle.
  • crew transfer from the Soyuz to the shuttle and on board work in the course of twenty-four hours.
  • automatic undocking and landing.

Status

Ptichka is currently the property of Kazakhstan, and is located in the MIK building at Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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