U.S. Astronaut Says Soyuz System Proved 'Robust' During Aborted Launch

Olive Hawkins
October 17, 2018

"They all hope that everything goes as planned", Prokopyev said.

The Soyuz-FG launch vehicle carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from Baikonur on October 11.

In an interview with state Rossiya-24 television, Ovchinin said that "the direction of this (G-force) overload during the descent was from the chest to the back, so imagine that somebody put a big concrete block on your chest that is seven times your weight".

Last week, the Soyuz MS-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague onboard, made an emergency landing after their rocket malfunctioned. "We had to carry out various actions that have to be done by the crew to prepare for an emergency landing", he said. Ovchinin could be heard saying: "That was a quick flight". As per the Roscosmos' statement, the failure might have occurred due to the collision between the discarded first stage and the second stage of the rocket's booster.

Ovchinin and Hague safely returned to Earth in a jettisoned escape capsule.

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Hague - the first American to experience a launch abort like this - communicated in Russian throughout the more than half-hour ordeal.

"I am feeling well, so is my colleague, USA astronaut Nick Hague", Ovchinin said.

Nick Hague on Tuesday publicly described his close call during a Facebook conversation. They knew that something was not right as they felt weightless when they should have been feeling pushed back in their seats.

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.

The Russian spacecraft has been the only way to send replacement crews to the International Space Station since NASA retired the space shuttle fleet in 2011. The space station, meanwhile, is managing for now with a crew of three.

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