Astronaut describes plunge back to Earth during failed launch

Astronaut describes plunge back to Earth during failed launch

Astronaut describes plunge back to Earth during failed launch

However, minutes after the liftoff, they faced a failure in the rocket's booster - causing a ballistic re-entry into Earth.

A Russian space agency official said on Friday that Russia still planned to go ahead as planned with its next manned flight to the ISS in December despite a rocket failure this week.

NASA boss Jim Bridenstine says he's confident the next Russian Soyuz rocket carrying crew and gear to the International Space Station will launch "on schedule". Hague, making his first launch, saw the curvature of Earth and the blackness of space.

On board the spacecraft were Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin (the commander of the Soyuz MS-10) and NASA astronaut Nick Hague. Instead, the pair's emergency rescue system kicked into action after a problem during booster separation. 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. "And, luckily for us, it was smooth, flat terrain and it ended up as a pretty smooth landing". "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. He holds out a hand. "And then we start cracking a few jokes between us about how short our flight was". "We have developed a sense of team that is necessary to deal with such incidents", said Hague.

He's grateful the emergency system worked despite the fact it hadn't been called into action for decades.

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.

The International Space Station (ISS) has enough supplies of food, water and life-supporting materials until the next summer, mission control head of the ISS Russian segment Vladimir Solovyov said on Sunday. "What we are doing up there at the space station, what we are doing for human exploration, it's for the benefit of all, and it's important that we continue". "Sometimes you don't get a vote", Hague said.

Last week's Soyuz rocket failure was the first such rocket failure incident in Russia's recent history, and there is now no definitive information regarding the cause of the incident.

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