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