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Miracle escape at 164,000ft | World | News
Published On: Fri, Oct 12th, 2018

Miracle escape at 164,000ft | World | News

American Nick Hague and Russian Aleksey Ovchinin were 164,000 feet high when their Soyuz rocket failed.

The pair were close to entering space when they fell back to earth in a “ballistic descent” experiencing a violent deceleration of up to eight times the force of gravity.

Footage showed the men being violently shaken, their arms and legs flailing, during the catastrophic secondary booster failure.

As the capsule hurtled towards Earth, he added: “We’re tightening our seat belts.”

The pair made a successful emergency landing in Kazakhstan around 250 miles from the Baikonur Cosmodrome from where they had blasted off.

There was an agonising wait for news from the astronauts until an announcement that the capsule had been located and the men were alive.

“Scary, scary, scary – not what we wanted,” said a member of 43-yearold Hague’s family watching on television in Kansas.

Soyuz – designed in the 1960s – is now the sole means of reaching the space station and the crew of three currently on board will now be marooned there until at least /lmx December as the Russians launch a probe into the malfunction.

Jim Bridenstine, Nasa’s administrator who was in Kazakhstan for the launch, said the failure was caused by a booster anomaly.

He said: “A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted.”

A spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin said: “Thank God the cosmonauts are alive.

“This is the main thing. It’s good that the safety systems and crew worked properly.”

The Soyuz rocket shortly after it blasted off yesterday, inset, and as it hit major problems

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Miracle escape at 164,000ft | World | News