Man Attempting to Trade Derelict USSR Space Shuttle for Human Skull

It is not water, it is blood that flows through our veins and has the smell of wormwood.
Forgotten Treasure

1988 saw the Soviet Union's first spacecraft of the Buran-class design, which was the equivalent to NASAs Space Shuttle. It made its maiden flight, orbiting the Earth twice without any crew.

Five years later, NASA cancelled the shuttle program. The spacecraft was never again to take to the skies. It would live out its remaining days in a hangar in Kazakhstan near the Baikonur Cosmodrone. The once-mighty prototype was destroyed when the roof of the hangar collapsed in 2002.

Burya, the second shuttle of Buran-class, also suffered a similar fate. Reports surfaced earlier this year that the vehicle was covered in graffiti in Baikonur while it was being stored.

Now things are even more bizarre, as Russia is now in an altercation with Dauren Musa, a Kazakh businessman, over the ownership of the Burya space shuttle. Ars Technica reports that he claims he has it, but he will give it up for a specific skull.



Clash of Skulls

According to state-owned news agency RT, Musa offered to trade Burya for the skull, Kenesary Kasymov (a hero figure who led a revolt against Russian Empires attempts in 1840s to colonize the region), according to RT.

It is not clear how Musa got the shuttle. As Ars points out in his article, Russian space companies have sold a lot of assets after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is possible that Musa either grabbed the shuttle then or bought it later from someone else.

In a recent interview with Russian newspaper Caravan, the eccentric businessman used flowery language to express his desire to broker a deal.

It is not water, but blood that flows through our veins. The scent of wormwood is what he claimed, translated by Ars.



Ars says there is one problem to the deal: Nobody knows where the skull is.

READ MORE: An entrepreneur wants to trade Buran's shuttle for a skull. [Ars Technica]

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