Nick Hague, the U.S astronaut who was on board of the Russian capsule with his mate Alexei Ovchinin, were not expecting the mission to end up with an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.
The two astronauts were heading to the International Space Station, but Thursday’s launch failed just two minutes after the lift-off. The rescue capsule carried the two back to Earth, but someone had to get them from the barren lands they landed on.
Hague tweeted the following information Friday, thanking everyone for their support and prayers:
“Operational teams were outstanding in ensuring our safety & returning us to family & friends.”
Even though the two astronauts experienced a G-force 6-7 times more than we feel on Earth as the capsule fell back to Earth, they were in good condition. Jim Bridenstine stated on Friday to a group of Russian reporters that the emergency rescue system of the capsule worked perfectly:
“I just want to say how grateful we are as a country, the United States, for our Russian partners. That’s an amazing capability and we can’t understate how important it is.”
The head of the Roscosmos space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, stated on Twitter that both astronauts would work on the ISS as soon as possible:
“The boys will certainly fly their mission. We plan that they will fly in the spring.”
Both Hague and Ovchinin will spend a few days at Star City for routine medical checks. The deputy chief of the Russian Federal Medical and Biological Agency, Vyacheslav Rogozhnikov, added that the two astronauts don’t need medical assistance are in good health.
Why Did the Mission Fail?
According to the head of the manned programs at Roscosmos – Sergei Krikalyov, the launch failed because one of the four boosters of the rocket didn’t jettison for about two minutes in the flight and it damaged the main stage, triggering the landing. At the moment, experts are looking into the issue, said Krikalyov:
“We will need to look and analyze the specific cause — whether it was a cable, a pyro or a nut. We need more data.”
He also added that all Soyuz launches are suspended until the investigation is finished.
As for Bridenstine, he explained that the U.S.-Russian co-operation in space missions would continue as usual:
“When it comes to space and exploration and discovery and science, our two nations have always kept those activities separate from the disputes that we have terrestrially. I anticipate that this relationship will stay strong.”
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.