BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan – On Friday, a Russian-American crew arrived at the International Space Station five months after a botched start led to an emergency landing for two of the three astronauts.
This time the Russian Soyuz rocket with NASA Astronauts Christina Koch and Nick Hague, a Luftwaffe colonel, and Rosesmos' Alexei Ovchinin boarded the same line at 10.14 am from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Six hours later, her capsule was at Orbiting Outpost
On October 1
On Friday, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine congratulated the crew on a successful launch. "So proud of Nick Hague that he stuck to the launch last October, which did not go as planned," he tweeted.
Hague, an aerospace engineer, Iraq veteran, and astronaut since 2013, is assigned to the Air Force Space Command. His wife, Lieutenant Colonel Mary "Catie" Hague, a public affairs officer and an Iraq veteran, is the commander of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Detachment 3 at the University of Houston.
At a pre-launch press conference in Baikonur, the astronauts said they trust the rocket and fully believe in the success of their mission.
Do not worry anymore. Be the first to know about the latest news. You receive alerts directly to your inbox when something noteworthy happens in the military community.
By sending us your email, sign up for our newsletter: Sign up for the Air Force Times Daily News Roundup.
"I am at 100 Percent confident in the rocket and the spacecraft, "said Hague. "The October events only helped to consolidate that and boost confidence in the vehicle to do its job."
The trio will join NASA's Anne McClain, Roscosmos & Oleg Kononenko and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, who are already on the space station. You will work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physics and geoscience.
When one of the four strap-on boosters for their Soyuz was not properly disconnected two minutes after their launch in October, Haag and Ovchinin were dropped from the rocket. Her escape pod rushed steeply back to earth with flashing lights and screaming alarms. The crew was seven times heavier than gravity.
Haag stressed Wednesday that they are well trained for emergencies.
Our job is to spend 90-95 percent of our time practicing what to do when things go wrong, "he said. "That's why we spend all the time training and going through all these scenarios. And because we were training in this way, as in October, when such things happened, we were ready to do what we needed to succeed.
Failure in October was the first demolition of the Russian space program for 35 years and only the third in history. Each time, the rocket's automatic rescue system kept the crew safe.
A Russian investigation had attributed the launch error in October to a sensor that was damaged during the final assembly of the rocket. The next crew of the space station to the space station in December ran smoothly.
Ovchinin recalled that they felt "more stressed out" when their escape capsule landed in the barren steppes of Kazakhstan. "It was disappointing and a bit frustrating that we did not make it to the International Space Station," he said. NASA and Roscosmos praised the bravery and serenity of the crew in the aborted launch and promised to quickly give them a second chance
"We do not blindly accept the risk, we have mitigated it as much as possible, and we always plan to succeed be, "Hague said.
Ovchinin emphasized that the launch in October was an "interesting and very useful experience" which "proved the reliability of the emergency rescue system".
Since the departure of the US shuttle fleet in 2011, the Russian Soyuz probes were the only vehicles bringing crews to the space station.
NASA, however, relies on SpaceX and Boeing launch by astronauts later this year. The SpaceX ship Dragon returned to the space station on Friday from a six-day test flight and was able to take astronauts there on his next flight this summer.