'Complete confidence': NASA astronaut praises Soyuz in 1st appearance after near-disaster

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Ovchinin and Hague were forced to make an emergency landing after an accident on their rocket minutes after blast-off to the International Space Station, with the rapid deceleration subjecting them to a painful G-force overload.

Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague had to abort their mission on october 11 after the Soyuz rocket supposed to carry them to the International Space Station failed. Hague, making his first launch, saw the curvature of Earth and the blackness of space.

"I was supposed to be doing a spacewalk two days from now", he said.

It's now been almost a week since the Soyuz rocket ferrying a NASA astronaut and Russian cosmonaut failed during launch, leading to a mission abort and sending the passengers on a course right back down to Earth.

In footage of the flight released by the Russian space agency Roscosmos Ovchinin can be heard calmly telling mission control that there has been an "accident" and even quipping about a particularly "short flight" before the feed is cut off. "As we were going through all of this, he was able to tell me what's normal, what's not normal", Hague said.

Hague said that the crew did not experience any extreme temperatures during their journey back to Earth. "Were we going to end up landing in water?"

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"They are constantly trying to build a flawless spacecraft, but it can't be ideal all the time, so we have contingencies in place and we have other fail-safe systems", he said. I shake his hand.

Air Force Colonel Nick Hague on Tuesday publicly described his close call.

"Any time you're launching yourself into space and your booster has a problem when you're going 1,800 metres per second, things are pretty dynamic and they happen very fast", he said.

His emotions bubbled up once he was reunited with his wife, their two young sons and his parents, back at the launch site.

Russia's catastrophic loss on October 11 of an important Soyuz rocket is being rapidly investigated, and the event is subject to a criminal enquiry. Russian Federation had immediately issued a notice shortly after the incident, saying that they had suspended all the future manned space flights for now, and an investigation was on to figure out what went wrong with the Soyuz rocket.