'The Boys Have Landed': 2 Astronauts' Close Call

American Nick Hague and Russian Alexei Ovchinin appear fine after rocket fails
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2018 2:41 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Thursday morning's failure of a Russian rocket provided some white-knuckle moments for space officials in the US and Russia, but the two men who had to bail out for an emergency landing look to be unscathed. NASA posted images of US astronaut Nick Hague and Russia's Aleksey Ovchinin greeting their families and resting at a facility in Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, after their ordeal. The men are expected to be kept in the hospital overnight as a precaution. Meanwhile, the investigation into what went wrong is underway. Details and developments:

  • The launch, trouble: The men blasted off in a Soyuz MS-10 rocket on a mission to the International Space Station but encountered booster trouble 119 seconds into the flight, reports the New York Times. A Russian official is quoted in Interfax as saying the emergency happened "during the separation of the side boosters of the first stage from the central booster of the second stage.”
  • The shimmy: This tweeted video and this YouTube video show Hague and Ovchinin being shook as the trouble starts. Soon after, the men had to jettison from the rocket in an escape capsule from about 30 miles above Earth. They came down in a dangerous "ballistic" descent that put them under gravitational forces six times greater than what is felt on Earth, reports the AP. Parachutes helped them land safely in a remote region in Kazakhstan.

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