Astronaut in space drama said he joked with crewmate after touchdown

Share

Ovchinin could be heard saying: "That was a quick flight".

Everything was going smoothly - until NASA astronaut Nick Hague felt a sudden tremor. "We had an alarm inside the capsule and we had an emergency light come on that said that we had had a problem with the booster", he said.

Hague said he and Ovchinin, his commander, were flung from side to side and shoved back hard into their seats, as the drama unfolded 50 kilometres (31 miles) above Kazakhstan last Thursday.

According to an announcement made by Roscosmos, it appears that the source of the urgent abort was a crash of elements in the time of the separation of the Soyuz-FG rocket's first phase. Like each one before, the rocket's safety system kept the crew alive.

"I'm not concerned with the Soyuz", Hague said, adding that he had "complete confidence" in the ability of Roscosmos to keep the spacecraft running. 'As we were going through all of this, he was able to tell me what's normal, what's not normal.' The two eventually touched back down on Earth and were met by rescue and recovery teams who handled things from there.

The incident became the first failure of a manned space launch in modern Russian history.

A view shows the Soyuz capsule transporting USA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin, after it made an emergency landing following a failure of its booster rockets, near the city of Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan October 11, 2018.

Boxer Alvarez signs $365M deal, richest contract in sports history
The fight was the last of his broadcast deal with HBO, who recently announced they'll be exiting the boxing game after several decades.

After blasting into the sky from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, a problem with the separation of first and second stage booster rockets forced Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin to make a risky "ballistic re-entry" into Earth's atmosphere. They braced for the extreme force - seven times the force of gravity - of the unusually steep descent and the shock of the parachutes popping open. "Were we going to end up landing in water?"

"You can imagine the scene", Hague said. He holds out a hand. "And then we start cracking a few jokes between us about how short our flight was".

Air Force Colonel Nick Hague on Tuesday publicly described his close call.

The main booster cut off its power automatically because of the problem which occurred just 119 seconds into the flight.

At the moment, the commission is investigating the disintegrated elements of the launch vehicle that were taken from the ground to see exactly what lead to this event.

Hague and Ovchinin were on a mission to the International Space Station.

Share