NASA astronaut Hague notes his Russian partner's experience

NASA astronaut Hague notes his Russian partner's experience

Their capsule ripped away from the rocket as designed and plummeted to Earth.

"Right around the first stage separation everything went a little awry", Hague explained, in a NASA interview. "We had an alarm inside the capsule and we had an emergency light come on that said that we had had a problem with the booster", he said. "We had to go through the steps that crew has to take and prepare for emergency that the crew is still functioning after landing". "The first thing I really noticed was being shaken pretty violently side to side", he said during his first publicly broadcast interviews since his Soyuz rocket failed shortly after liftoff on october 11.

Russia is planning its next manned mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in early December after a launch failure earlier this month, according to Sergei Krikalyov, executive director of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos.

"I just remember it being this very poignant realization that 'Wow, we just had a failure of the booster!'" Hague said. The space station, meanwhile, is managing for now with a crew of three. "My eyes were looking out the window trying to gauge exactly where we were going to be", Hague said.

The mission was aborted and the crew was rescued from a place near Baikonur, where the astronauts had made the emergency landing.

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"They are constantly trying to build a flawless spacecraft, but it can't be ideal all the time, so we have contingencies in place and we have other fail-safe systems", he said.

Hague said he and Ovchinin, his commander, were flung from side to side and shoved back hard into their seats, as the drama unfolded 50 kilometres (31 miles) above Kazakhstan last Thursday. You can imagine the scene: we're in the capsule, we are kind of hanging upside down from our straps because of the orientation of the capsule, and we look at each other.

The astronaut did feel pressure changes during the capsule's descent.

Despite his dramatic escape last week, Hague is eager for his next opportunity to launch into space.

"I'm not concerned with the Soyuz", Hague said, adding that he had "complete confidence" in the ability of Roscosmos to keep the spacecraft running.

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