Wanna Buy a Space Shuttle?

Well, you’re too late and about $98,000 short if — like most of us — you don’t happen to have that kind of change lying around. But if you had it to spare and had happened across a particular Ebay posting over the weekend, you could have bought a Soviet Space Shuttle

 Soviet Shuttle

OK, OK. So it’s not an actual space shuttle. It’s a 1/8 model that was used in various flight tests for the Soviet’s Buran space shuttle.

 The BOR-5 is a 1400 kg exact 1/8 scale model of the Soviet space shuttle Buran. The BOR-5 is 15’6" Long (17′ w/trailer) X 9’10" Wide (wingtip to wingtip) X 5’10" Tall (8’10" Tall on trailer). It was used to validate the aero-dynamic characteristics of the Buran at hypersonic speeds, between 1983 and 1988. The BOR-5 was launched on probably five sub-orbital trajectories from Kapustin Yar, in the direction of Lake Balkhash, using SL-8 (Cosmos) rockets (Russian designation: K65M-RB5). BOR is the abbreviation for Bezpilotnyy Orbitalnyy Raketoplan (Unmanned Orbital Rocketplane).

BOR-5 flights tested (amoung other things) carbon-based and quartz fiber heat-shield material paving the way for the Buran Shuttle. Russian sources are contradictory as to the number of BOR-5 flights. An except from one report reads: " … At an approximate altitude of 110-120 km height, the Cosmos booster pitched down, driving at full thrust for several minutes, accelerated the model to Mach 18.5 at 45 degrees, before separation. The craft landed using a parachute landing system after a flight of 2000 km.

 But those are just details, really. How cool would it be to start conversations with, "So, you know, I own a space shuttle"? If you happen to have $25,000 to spare between now and April you still have shot at an original NASA space shuttle prototype. Sure it’s only .008 scale, but it’s still a space shuttle, right? Anyway, if that’s too big of a hit to the wallet, you can always bid on about a ton of other space memorabilia.

Via Gizmodo and Random Good Stuff.