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


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. Like each one before, the rocket's safety system kept the crew alive.

American astronaut Nick Hague who survived a dramatic failure of a Russian rocket says he's lucky the emergency abort system worked.

The incident became the first failure of a manned space launch in modern Russian history. "I got to experience a few seconds of weightlessness and I was able to watch a few things float around in the capsule" at the peak, he said.

Hague communicated in Russian throughout the more than half-hour ordeal.

"When NASA wants me to fly, I'm ready to go", he said, including aboard the Soyuz, now the only vehicle capable of taking humans into space.

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They landed on the smooth, flat terrain of Kazakhstan.

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. "After the main chute opens, there is a valve that helps equalize us with the outside ambient air pressure and so you feel pressure changes in your ear on descent, just like you might feel in a commercial airliner coming in for landing", he said. I shake his hand.

Nick Hague on Tuesday publicly described his close call during a Facebook conversation. 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.

Hague said he has no clue as to when he'll get a second shot, but is ready as soon as he gets the go-ahead.

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. Russian Federation had immediately issued a notice shortly after the incident, saying that they had suspended all the future manned space flights for now, and an investigation was on to figure out what went wrong with the Soyuz rocket.