NASA of­fi­cial: Tense mo­ments but calm crew in aborted launch

Greenwich Time - - OBITUARIES / NEWS -

NASA’s chief heard one re­as­sur­ing sound over the ra­dio link af­ter the aborted launch of a Soyuz cap­sule with an Amer­i­can and a Rus­sian aboard.

It was U.S. as­tro­naut Nick Hague calmly re­lay­ing in­for­ma­tion in Rus­sian to flight con­trollers.

“My re­ac­tion was, ‘things aren’t go­ing well and he’s not speak­ing English,’” NASA Ad­min­is­tra­tor Jim Bri­den­s­tine told re­porters Fri­day, af­ter Hague and Roscos­mos’ Alexei Ov­chinin re­turned to the Star City train­ing cen­ter out­side Moscow from their abruptly short­ened mis­sion.

“So, in other words, he was calm, he was cool, he was col­lected, he was do­ing what he was trained to do,” said Bri­den­s­tine, who was at the Baikonur Cos­mod­rome to watch the launch.

Two min­utes af­ter Hague and Ov­chinin blasted off Thurs­day for the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion, their rocket failed, trig­ger­ing an emer­gency land­ing. Their cap­sule fell from an al­ti­tude of about 31 miles at a sharper-than-nor­mal an­gle, build­ing up grav­i­ta­tional forces at 6-7 times those on Earth.

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