Hague and his fellow astronaut, Russian Alexei Ovchinin, are safe after an emergency landing early Thursday morning, following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station.
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on October 11, 2018. Eric Berger ofArs Technica reports that Russian sources said the failure occurred about two minutes into flight, suggesting the rocket had a problem during second stage separation, but the exact nature of the complication is unknown. With Thursday's failed launch, just three people remain on the station, an American astronaut, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, the German Commander Alexander Gerst, and Russian Sergey Prokopyev. The booster carrying them failed within two minutes of flight, forcing both astronauts to make a "steep ballistic descent", NASA said.
NASA and Roscosmos said search-and-rescue teams responded quickly to retrieve the crew members, whose spacecraft parachuted to Earth in an emergency landing in Kazakhstan. The city is about 450 kilometers from the Russia's Baikonur space center, which Russian Federation operates through an agreement with the Republic of Kazakhstan. Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometres northeast of Baikonur.
Sergei Krikalev, a senior Roscosmos official, said on Friday that Russian Federation may also delay a planned unmanned cargo shipment by a Progress spacecraft to the ISS.
Dmitry Rogozin, a firebrand nationalist politician who this year was appointed by President Vladimir Putin to head Roscosmos, said on Twitter he had ordered a state commission to probe the accident. The Soyuz is the only way to get to and from the station.
Doomed: The rocket booster with space ship blasts offabout.
Roscosmos pledged to fully share all relevant information with NASA, which pays up to $82 million per Soyuz seat to the space station.
Asked about the malfunction which forced the emergency landing, Todd said it was "very hard to the untrained eye to try and diagnose" exactly what happened, but that it was a "major anomaly" with the Soyuz system.
The United States is developing commercial space launches but problems with the Soyuz present a headache for NASA, which has a policy of having a continuous presence in space. This Hague's first flight.
It's the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013. Then, a rocket malfunctioned shortly before launch, and the crew vehicle was ejected to safety. This could mean that the first astronaut they would send to the ISS would depart in 2020 instead of 2019.
Only last month a hole was discovered in the International Space Station which Roscosmos claimed was drilled deliberately.
Glitches found in Russia's Proton and Soyuz rockets in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws at the plant in Voronezh.