BOR-4S at MAKS Airshow in Zhukovskiy, 2005
BOR-4S nº401 at MAKS Airshow in Zhukovskiy, 2005
Role Uncrewed 1:2 scale re-entry test vehicle
National origin Soviet Union
First flight 5 December 1980
Number built 7

The BOR-4 (БОР-4 Russian: Беспилотный Орбитальный Ракетоплан 4, Bespilotnyi Orbital'nyi Raketoplan 4, "Unpiloted Orbital Rocketplane 4") flight vehicle is a scaled (1:2) prototype of the Soviet Spiral VTHL (vertical takeoff, horizontal landing) spaceplane. An uncrewed, subscale spacecraft, its purpose was to test the heatshield tiles and reinforced carbon-carbon for the Buran space shuttle, then under development.[1]

Several of them were built and flown between 1982 and 1984 from the Kapustin Yar launch site at speeds of up to Mach 25. After reentry, they were designed to parachute to an ocean splashdown for recovery by the Soviet Navy. The testing was nearly identical to that carried out by the US Air Force ASSET program in the 1960s, which tested the heatshield design for the X-20 Dyna-Soar. On June 3, 1982 a Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion reconnaissance aircraft captured the first Western images of the craft as it was recovered by a Soviet ship near the Cocos Islands.[2]


Seven BOR were built, and four confirmed flights took place:[3][4]

  • n/a – 5 December 1980 – BOR4S nº401 - suborbital flight
  • Cosmos-1374 – 4 June 1982 – BOR4 nº404 – orbital flight, splashed down into the Indian Ocean
  • Cosmos-1445 – 15 March 1983 – BOR4 nº403 – orbital flight, splashed down into the Indian Ocean
  • Cosmos-1517 – 27 December 1983 – BOR4 nº405 – orbital flight, splashed down into the Black Sea
  • Cosmos-1614 – 19 December 1984 – BOR4 nº406 – orbital flight, splashed down into the Black Sea, unrecovered[citation needed]

Current locations



  1. ^ Grayzeck, Edwin.J. "NASA - National Space Science Data Center - Spacecraft - Details: Cosmos 1517". NSSDC Master Catalog. National Aeronautics & Space Administration. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  2. ^ Jim Hodges (June 23, 2011). "They're Trying to Make a Dream Come True". NASA Langley Research Center.
  3. ^ "BOR Characteristic". Retrieved 2016-02-12.
  4. ^ Pierre Bauduin (1980-12-05). "BOR satellites". Retrieved 2016-02-12.
  5. ^ "par Nicolas Pillet". Kosmonavtika. Retrieved 2016-02-12.

External links

  • Detailed page on BORs

Coordinates: 17°00′S 98°00′E / 17.000°S 98.000°E / -17.000; 98.000