NASA Astronaut Shares His View of Aborted Flight

Nick Hague tells what it's like to go into survival mode.

Aborted NASA flight
A mission to the International Space Station was aborted last week mid-flight.
Bettmann Archive

When a booster engine failed to separate from the Russian Soyuz MS-10 capsule on its way to the International Space Station last week, the plan quickly switched over to survival mode.

“It went from normal to something was wrong pretty quick,” NASA astronaut Nick Hague said about his failed Friday liftoff during a interview broadcast on Facebook Tuesday morning. “The first thing I noticed was being shaken fairly violently side to side… “The mission changed to getting back to the ground as safely as we could.”

Luckily the emergency abort system was able to blast the engine away and after a moment of weightlessness and a quick peek out a porthole with a view of the Earth’s curvature, the rocket returned safely to the vicinity of its liftoff point at Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

“The first moment that I was able to take a deep breath was after we came to a skidding stop in the capsule and my window was 12 inches from the dirt,” Hague said, “and I realized just how lucky we were.”

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