NW Kan native, NASA astronaut describes close call following failed launch

Russia may resume manned space flights on November 28: Interfax

Last week, the Soyuz MS-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague onboard, made an emergency landing after their rocket malfunctioned. "Everything was new for me, it was my first time", Hague said, thanking Ovchinin for sharing his previous experience during the landing. He's a seasoned, veteran cosmonaut, ' Hague told NBC News. "He was able to tell me what was normal, what was not normal". "'Everything was nominal, and it was right after the first staging, when the boosters started to separate inside, it went from normal to 'something was wrong" pretty quick.' That's a pretty casual way to describe being strapped to failing rocket, but that's NASA training for you!

"The automated system pulled us away from the rocket so fast, and so the first thing I've really noticed was being shaken fairly violently side to side", he continued. "We had to go through the steps that crew has to take and prepare for emergency landing.so that the crew is still functioning after landing".

They landed on the smooth, flat terrain of Kazakhstan.

He said that despite the hard circumstances, he and his Russian counterpart did not lose the sense of humor after the landing.

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"They are constantly trying to build a flawless spacecraft, but it can't be ideal all the time, so we have contingencies in place and we have other fail-safe systems", he said. "In a handful of minutes, somebody was tapping on the window next to me, giving me the OK symbol, and I was answering back with a big smile, and then they had the hatch open", Hague said on Wednesday, as broadcast by NASA. As a result of this malfunction, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague had to descend to the ground, interrupting their trip to the International Space Station. This was the first launch abort of the normally reliable Soyuz rocket in 35 years. This is what seems to have led to the Soyuz MS-10 launch failure.

The astronaut did feel pressure changes during the capsule's descent. Later, the crewmembers were examined and found to be in good condition.

The mission was aborted and the crew was rescued from a place near Baikonur, where the astronauts had made the emergency landing.

NASA's Hague has already flown back to the United States following the landing, after undergoing a medical check and being questioned about the accident. The Soyuz, which was designed in the 1960s and modernized recently, is now the only spacecraft available to carry humans into orbit.

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