Currently the Soviet Space Shuttle Buran 002 is being transported to the German Sinsheim Technology Museum, where it will become the world’s first genuine space shuttle to be exhibited to the general public. (scroll down for photos) The Russian orbiter, one of only a few built, was acquired by the “Technik Museums Sinsheim and Speyer” in cooperation with an Australian consortium of volunteers and honorary members.
After more than 10 years of observation and 4 years of law suit with a business man from Singapore, the spacecraft is finally on its way to find its place in one of the most renowned museums in Germany.
On Thursday, 6 March 2008, the space shuttle was loaded from a storage site on a ship in Manama/Bahrain. The route was then leading via the Arabian Gulf, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, Suez Channel, the Mediterranean Sea with course to the Straits of Gibraltar. Thereafter it passed Portugal and France en route to the English Channel and on to Rotterdam.
In Rotterdam the shuttle was prepared for land transport and loaded onto a pontoon-boat, going down the river Rhine in a tug formation from Rotterdam to Speyer (100km south of Frankfurt/Main), today.
The Technik Museums Sinsheim and Speyer are being supported by a non-profit-making organization with more than 2.000 members worldwide. It is the goal of this organization to preserve technological cultural assets for posterity and to support and encourage the interest in technological developments.
The museums are being financed exclusively from the admission charges paid by visitors as well as from donations and membership subscriptions.
The Technik MUSEUM SPEYER is currently building a new museum hall with a height of 22 meters and an exhibition area of 9000 m². As soon the hall has been completed the Russian space shuttle will be placed into the new hall to have its wings, landing gear, instruments and rudder re-attached in order to make everything fit for exhibition.
The Museum is planning to have everything ready by mid-summer.
Actually there are tons of photos from enthusiastic watchers at Flickr.
Here I present you a little selection. Please note, every image will lead to a separate image gallery containing many more photos!