A dispute has risen between a Kazakh businessman and Russian space officials over the destiny of the second Buran-class space shuttle called Burya is getting bizarre.
In 1988, the first Buran shuttle performed a single unpiloted launch into space. Unfortunately, the vehicle was damaged in 2002 when the facility’s ceiling at Kazakhstan’s Baikonur cosmodrome fell. The loss of the original Buran increases the value of the second-class Buran shuttle, Burya, to Russian space officials.
Burya is kept in a separate facility at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. However, after graffiti artists vandalized the orbiter, Russian officials became more concerned about Burya’s future.
However, Russia’s conflict with a Kazakh businessman named Dauren Musa, who claims ownership of the Burya shuttle, is getting ridiculous. Musa does not want to simply return the vehicle to Russia. Instead, he claims that he would surrender Burya to Russia in exchange for the skull of the last Kazakh Khan, Kenesary Kasymov, a hero who took up arms against the Russian Empire in the 1840s.
But how did Musa got hold of the Burya space shuttle? This is a mystery yet to be solved; however, Russian space companies auctioned various assets after the Soviet Union’s demise, so he possibly got it then or later purchased it from someone else.
In a recent interview with the Russian newspaper Caravan, the Kazakh entrepreneur used fancy words to emphasise his desire to negotiate a deal.
“It is not water that flows in our veins, but blood, and it has the scent of wormwood,” he said.
However, there’s one major issue with the whole bargain: no one actually knows where the skull is.