Nick Hague survived a Rocket failure. But the accident made a very big mark on him.
Hague, a NASA astronaut was to go for a month-long orbit in space aboard the Soyuz rocket. Unfortunately, the rocket aborted the mission due to a problem with booster separation, which sent the unlucky crew back on an extremely bumpy ride to the earth without even reaching the station.
After the rocket failed to separate from its booster, one of the crew members, Ovchinin made a quick decision to abort the mission. The Soyuz capsule used its Emergency Abort System which propelled the crew into a “ballistic descent”. The descent was no easy ride as the crew experienced a brief bout of absolute weightlessness before being hurled into a “ballistic trajectory” as they were catapulted towards to an area of Kazakhstan on Earth.
The crew made it safely to the ground without any injury thanks to the seamless functioning of the Emergency abort system in the capsule. An investigation was launched immediately after the incident.
“There was a point where we got to the apex of our trajectory, and I looked out the window and I saw the curve of the Earth out there and the blackness of space, and it was a bittersweet, fleeting moment that I got that close, but it wasn’t going to work out that time.” Hague said of the experience.
For Hague, the nightmarish rocket failure accident was harsher than his experiences during combat deployments as an Airforce Test Pilot and he had never found himself so anxious to get back to the ground as he had in this particular incident.