of the Largest Man-Made Objects in the World
Like most of the design and engineering feats of the 20th century, the Antonov-225 Mriya has its origins in the fraught relationship between the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R., more specifically in the Space Race. The An-225 was originally built as a transport vehicle for the Buran spaceplane, a reusable space vehicle similar in concept to the American space shuttle. The Buran program never panned out, so the An-225 had a criminally short official service period, only flying 14 times, with a combined flight time of barely longer than a day. The specs on the plane are ridiculous, with a wingspan of 290 feet, length of just shy of 276 feet and an effective range of 4,000 kilometers (it could fly nonstop, fully loaded, from New York to Los Angeles, with about 55 kilometers to spare). There’s also a second one in a hangar in Ukraine, with negotiations for its completion ongoing, so there may be two of these things tooling around at some point in the not-too-distant future.
Lake/Reservoir: Lake Kariba