NASA astronaut describes dramatic escape from failed Soyuz rocket

Gwen Vasquez
October 20, 2018

Because of a problem during ascent, the spacecraft separated from the boosters and made an emergency landing.

Their capsule ripped away from the rocket as designed and plummeted to Earth.

"We knew that if we wanted to be successful, we needed to stay calm and we needed to execute the procedures in front of us as smoothly and efficiently as we could", Hague told The Associated Press from Houston. "We had to go through the steps that crew has to take and prepare for emergency that the crew is still functioning after landing". As soon as they had found where we were at... they jumped in to get to us as quick as they could...

The first launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket into orbit since a failed launch last week is planned for october 24-26 and will carry a military satellite into space, Interfax news agency cited a source in the space industry as saying on Wednesday. "My eyes were looking out the window trying to gauge exactly where we were going to be", Hague said. "The first thing I really noticed was being shaken pretty violently side to side", he said during his first publicly broadcast interviews since his Soyuz rocket failed shortly after liftoff on October 11.

The spacecraft was about 30 miles above Earth's surface when the crew made their re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. Were we going to be on the steppes of Kazakhstan? In televised remarks last week, Oleg Orlov, the head of the Institute for Medical and Biological Problems, Russia's top space medicine research center, said that the astronauts endured six Gs during the sharp ballistic descent.

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Normal Soyuz returns have G-forces of about five. "We were going slow enough, our energy was low enough, that it was really just aerodynamic drag that slowed us down".

Shortly after, rescuers recovered the crew from the descent capsule.

"The next flight was originally planned in December, but we will now try to make it a little bit early December", Krikalyov said in a video interview with the RT TV channel.

"All of my instincts and reflexes inside the capsule are to speak Russian", said Hague, who had two years of training in Russia.

Despite his dramatic escape last week, Hague is eager for his next opportunity to launch into space.

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