In order to compete with the U.S. Space Shuttle program, the Soviets began their own reusable spacecraft program in 1974, under the name Buran. The program lasted a full 19 years before its cancellation in 1993. The Buran spacecraft never saw manned spaceflight, and completed only one orbital flight, on November 15, 1988.
While a very successful flight, the shuttle never flew again and was eventually destroyed in a 2002 hangar collapse. It is shown here carried on the back of the Antonov An-225, the largest fixed-wing aircraft in the world. Similar to the U.S. Shuttle/Boeing 747 arrangement, the An-225 was used to ferry Buran models around various sites in the Soviet Union. Despite the program's failure, the Buran project remains a popular topic among both spaceflight enthusiasts and current aerospace professionals.