KAZAKHSTAN – U.S. Air Force Academy graduate and NASA astronaut Nick Hague and his Russian cosmonaut colleague Alexei Ovchinin are doing well after an emergency landing due to a booster rocket failure during a Soyuz launch in Kazakhstan.
Around 4:40 a.m. Colorado time, they were on their way to the International Space Station when the booster failed 123 seconds into the launch. The Soyuz capsule automatically jettisoned away from the booster.
Both men were recovered on the ground not far from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome.
According to launch officials, the men experienced higher than normal G-force loads, but are in good condition.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters all manned launches from the site are suspending until the results of an investigation into the failure are available.
The United States depends on Russian rocket launches for a ride to the International Space Station since the space shuttle program was shut down in 2011.
Nick Hague is a Kansas native who graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1998. He was selected in 2013 as one of the eight members of the 21st NASA Astronaut class. This launch to the International Space Station as a Flight Engineer was his first.
— USAFA (Official) (@AF_Academy) October 9, 2018