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Molniya bureau
Part of Molniya Family
Russian manufacturer of rockets and spacecraft. Molniya Design Bureau, Russia.

AKA: NPO Molniya.

NPO Molniya was spun of from OKG MiG in in 1976 with the special purpose of producing the Buran spaceplane, a copy of the American space shuttle. Chief Designer was Lozino-Lozinskiy, who had headed the Spiral spaceplane project at MiG from 1965-1976.

In parallel with development of Buran, Lozino-Lozinskiy continued to develop the Spiral design. In a series of design studies it was determined that launch of Spiral from a large subsonic transport was feasible and would have a much lower development cost than the previous approach using a supersonic launcher. Further it was realized that a smaller orbital spaceplane would have many advantages compared to the Buran space shuttle then in development. These studies culminated in a draft project for the MAKS space launch system in 1988, generated by NPO Molniya and 70 sub-contractors and government institutes. Development was underway and mock-ups had been completed when the project was cancelled in 1991.

During the 1990's attempts to interest Western investors in MAKS or engage in other collaborative reusable launch vehicle projects came to nothing. Lozino-Lozinskiy passed away in 2001. The design bureau was still busy due to light aircraft designs created together with the associated Raduga Design Bureau and Myasishchev Experimental Machine-building Plant.



People: Lozino-Lozinskiy. Country: Russia. Spacecraft: Buran Analogue, System 49 Orbiter, BOR-4, BOR-5, OK-M, OK-M1, OK-M2, Uragan Space Interceptor, MAKS series. Launch Vehicles: System 49, Bizan-T, System 49-M, Bizan, MAKS, MAKS-M, MAKS-T, VKS-D, VKS-RTO+ZhRD, VKS-ZhRD+GPVRD, VKS-G, VKS-O, VKS-R, VKS-V, VKS-DM, Ajax, Herakles, MAKS-D.

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