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Jul/15

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The space launch vehicle “Energy-M” and its last home

In the late 1970s, after the closure of the Soviet lunar program and work on the super-heavy carrier rocket N1, the development of a new super-heavy rocket called “Energy” began.

The first launch was made in 1987, and, in 1988, the rocket put into orbit the Soviet space shuttle “Buran.” Photos by: Ralph Mirebs.

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 1

By the late 1980s, a family of new space launch vehicles of different power was designed based on “Energy,” including “Energy-M,” “Energy-2” and “Volcano.” But only “Energy-M” went beyond drawings.

As a launch complex, “Energy-M” used the existing complex that provided “Energy” launches. To check the compatibility and conducting other tests, a full-size model of “Energy-M” with a central unit engine was built and installed in a specially constructed building.

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 2

December 25, 1991, the model was placed on the launch pad, and two days later it was returned back to the Dynamic Tests Building. The building was closed, the same fate awaited “Energy-M” project. 24 years later the model of “Energy-M” can still be found inside.

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 3

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 4

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 5

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 6

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 7

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 8

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 9

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 10

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 11

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 12

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 13

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 14

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 15

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 16

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 17

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 18

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 19

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 20

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 21

The Dynamic Tests Building (170 meters) is the tallest building in Baikonur. From the roof of the building you can see the desert and the neighboring launch sites.

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 22

The building of the assembly and test facility. At the entrance, you can see two transport and installation units – special railway platforms for transporting of “Energy-Buran” and “Energy-M.”

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 23

The assembling and filling complex with the remains of “Buran” spaceships

The space launch vehicle Energy-M, Baikonur, Russia, photo 24

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