MOSCOW, December 3. /TASS/. US astronaut Nick Hague said on Tuesday he will wear with pride the Russian Order of Courage he recently received from Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin.
"I am honored to be awarded the Russian Order of Courage," Hague wrote on his Twitter page. "I will wear this medal with pride, as a tribute to my commander Alexey Ovchinin’s leadership, and in recognition of the Search and Rescue Forces who brought us home to our loved ones."
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier signed a decree on awarding the Order of Courage to NASA astronaut Hague. Hague was bestowed the prestigious state award "for courage and high professionalism shown while performing his duties in the conditions of an increased risk to life when an emergency situation occurred at the Baikonur Cosmodrome."
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 October 11, 2018. On board the spacecraft were Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin (the commander of the Soyuz MS-10) and NASA astronaut 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 crew was not hurt. This was the first emergency situation with the launch of a manned spacecraft over the past 35 years.
The incident-probing commission announced that the emergency situation occurred after the nozzle lid of the oxidizer tank did not open due to the deformation of the stages’ separation contact sensor. The sensor was damaged during the assembly of the rocket’s first stage at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Ovchinin and Hague flew to the International Space Station on March 14, 2019 and returned to Earth on October 3.