The Origins and Evolution to the Energiya Rocket Family

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B. Hendrickx (2002), JBIS, 55, 242-278

Refcode: 2002.55.242
Keywords: Soviet Union, space history, rocket technology, space shuttle

Fifteen years have passed since the Soviet Energiya heavy-lift launch vehicle made its maiden flight. After a follow-on flight carrying an unmanned Buran orbiter the programme was faced with the budget realities resulting from the collapse of the Soviet Union, ultimately leading to its cancellation in the early 1990s. This paper will look at the origins of Energiya and Buran, the evolution of their design and the various launch vehicles that were derived from Energiya. One of the major sources used in this article are the recently published memoirs of Boris Gubanov, who was Energiya's chief designer from 1982 until 1992 [1].

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