ZVYOZDNY GORODOK, October 17. /TASS/. NASA astronaut Nick Hague was coolheaded and acted in line with instructions reporting updated data to the Earth during an emergency landing of Russia’s Soyuz MS-10 carrier rocket shortly after the blast off last week, Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin said on Wednesday.
"My partner Nick [Hague] acted as a true expert and was completely coolheaded," Ovchinin told journalists. "I never saw even a hint of fear in his eyes."
"He had been responding immediately to all questions from the Earth and it was obvious that he was in total control of the [emergency] situation," the Russian cosmonaut stated.
Ovchinin also said that during a ballistic descent, Hague was looking out of the capsule’s illuminator reporting the exact coordinates of the upcoming landing to make sure that the crew would emerge unharmed.
A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, at 11:40 a.m. Moscow time. On board the spacecraft were Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin (the commander of the Soyuz MS-10) and NASA astronaut Nick Hague.
Following a smooth liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned between the first and second stages of separating, whereupon the crew was forced to abort the flight and switch to ballistic descent. The manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft ended up landing in the Kazakh steppe.
The press office of Russia’s Central Military District reported that rescuers recovered the crew from the descent capsule. Later, the crewmembers were examined and found to be in good condition. After their medical check-up in the town of Baikonur, the astronauts were transported to Moscow.
This is the first emergency landing with this type of carrier rocket over the past 35 years.
NASA astronaut Nick Hague, who returned to Moscow from the Baikonur spaceport on October 12 after the Soyuz booster’s failure, flew to the United States on October 13.