Soviet Space Shuttle Launch & Landing (1988)
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The Russian Space Shuttle "Buran" launched 15 November 1988. After completing two orbits, it landed 206 minutes later at Baikonur Cosmodrome. The whole flight was fully automatic, with no human on board. A second flight planned for 1993 never occured, due to cancellation of the Buran program after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

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"The only orbital launch of Buran occurred on 15 November 1988 from Baikonur Cosmodrome Site 110/37. It was lifted into orbit unmanned by the specially designed Energia rocket, which to this day remains the heaviest rocket running on liquid fuel. Unlike the NASA Shuttle, which was propelled by a combination of solid boosters and the Shuttle's own liquid-fuel engines fueled from a large fuel tank, the Energia-Buran system used only thrust from the rocket's four RD-170 liquid oxygen/kerosene engines developed by Valentin Glushko and another four RD-0120 liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engines. From the very beginning Buran was intended to be used in both fully automatic and manual mode..."
"The main differences between the space aeroplane Buran and Suttle-orbiter are follows:
- the automatic landing of Buran from orbit onto airdrome;
- the absence ot the main rocket engine on the orbital aeroplane. The main engine was placed onto a central block of a carrier-rocket Energia which is able to launch into an orbit 120 tons of payload against 30 tons for Space Shuttle;
- the hight lift-drag ratio of the space aeroplane Buran is 6.5 against 5.5 for Space Shuttle;
- the space aeroplane Buran returned 20 tons of payloads against 15 tons for Space Shuttle orbiter from an orbit to an aerodrome;
- the cutting lay-out pattern of thermoprotection tiles of Buran is optimal and longitudinal slits of tile belts are orthogonal to the flow line. Sharp angles of tiles are absent. The tile belts of the Buran fuselage and fin have an optimal position..."  Wiki
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