NASA astronaut describes close call following failed launch


A preliminary study indicates that one of the rocket's 4 strap-on booster elements failed to properly separate and hit the remaining portion of the main booster.

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying the crew of astronaut Nick Hague of the USA and cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin of Russian Federation blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan October 11, 2018. 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.

During the launch of the Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-10 on October 11, the carrier rocket crashed and the crew consisting of Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague made an emergency landing. The crew landed safely in Kazakhstan's steppe. As for what the future holds, Hague said he's ready to head back to space as soon as possible. I shake his hand.

Once Hague was back on earth, he was plagued by one last technological failure - in the form of voicemail.The 43-year-old Air Force veteran used a satellite phone to call his wife, but she didn't pick up."It went to voicemail so now she's got a voicemail she can keep as a memento for the rest of her life", he laughed. "And then we start cracking a few jokes between us about how short our flight was".

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According to NASA, there was an "issue with the booster" and the crew returned to Earth in a ballistic descent mode, which is a sharper angle of descent compared to normal. They knew that something was not right as they felt weightless when they should have been feeling pushed back in their seats.

The first launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket into orbit since a failed launch last week is planned for October 24 to 26 and will carry a military satellite into space, Interfax news agency cited a source in the space industry as saying on Wednesday.

They flew to the orbit taking Russia's Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft that blasted off on June 6 and they are scheduled to stay onboard the space station for 187 days.