Home / Science / Astronaut Nick Hague, a Luftwaffe colonel, arrives at the space station with a US-Russian crew

Astronaut Nick Hague, a Luftwaffe colonel, arrives at the space station with a US-Russian crew

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

1, a Soyuz wearing Hague and Ovchinin failed for two minutes in flight, activating a rescue system that allowed their capsule to safely land. This accident was the first aborted start of the Russian space program crew since 1983, when two Soviet cosmonauts were safely thrown overboard after a launcher.

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.

  US. Astronauts Nick Hague, Christina Hammock Koch, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, crew members of the International Space Station mission, wave as they board Baikonur's Russian Kosovo leased in Kazakhstan before launching their Soyuz MS-12 spaceship, 14 March (Kyrill Kudryavtsev / AP)
US Astronauts Nick Hague, above, Christina Hammock Koch and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, crew members of the International Space Station mission, wave, before entering the Russian Kosovo of Baikonur in Kazakhstan before launching its Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft rise, March 14th. (Kyrill Kudryavtsev / AP)

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.

"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.

  The Soyuz-FG Rocket Amplifier with the Soyuz MS-12 Spaceship On Friday, a new crew of the International Space Station in Kazakhstan will start. (Dmitri Lovetsky / AP) "height =" 408.5 "width =" 600 "class =" image-lazy
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with the spacecraft Soyuz MS-12, which leads a new crew to the International Space Station, will launch in Kazakhstan on Friday. (Dmitri Lovetsky / AP)

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".

  US astronaut Nick Hague gesticulates before launching on Thursday a Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft to the International Space Station ISS. (Dmitri Lovetsky / AP) "height =" 315.7631359466222 "width =" 600 "class =" image-lazy
US. Astronaut Nick Hague gesticulates before launching a Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft to the International Space Station on Thursday. (Dmitri Lovetsky / AP)

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.

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Col. Nick Hague and his wife, Lieutenant Colonel May "Catie" Hague, will be separated for the next six months, but they're used to it. Both were used several times for the Luftwaffe. (From the video by Dave Grim / Air Force)

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