'Concrete block on your chest': astronauts recount failed space launch

'Concrete block on your chest': astronauts recount failed space launch

On October 11, the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle failed to launch the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft, with Hague and Ovchinin on board, toward the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague had to abort their mission on October 11 after the Soyuz rocket supposed to carry them to the International Space Station failed.

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

"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.

It's now been almost a week since the Soyuz rocket ferrying a NASA astronaut and Russian cosmonaut failed during launch, leading to a mission abort and sending the passengers on a course right back down to Earth. '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.

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A return of the three is planned for sometime in December, but with no replacements going up in the foreseeable future, the ISS would be on its own for the first time since its completion. "Were we going to end up landing in water? Big grins, he holds out a hand, I shake his hand and then we start cracking out a few jokes between us about how short our flight was", Hague said.

Hague, 43, said he's dealt with in-flight emergencies during his Air Force career, but nothing like this. Based on some new information that was revealed by Roscosmos, it looks like one of the four strap-on boosters didn't successfully separate and it may have in fact hit the core stage of the rocket.

His emotions bubbled up once he was reunited with his wife, their two young sons and his parents, back at the launch site.

He said he would rather be in orbit, getting ready for a spacewalk, but is grateful to be alive. "But life doesn't always give you a vote".

According to Roscosmos executive director for manned flights Sergei Krikalyov, cited by Russian news agency TASS, problems began when the first stage of the rocket impacted the second one during separation.

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