Cosmonaut Describes Aborted Soyuz Launch

Cosmonaut Describes Aborted Soyuz Launch

In the wake of a booster failure that forced a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to make an emergency landing last week, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were anxious whether their space launch would be cancelled.

Now, Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Nasa are carrying out investigations to understand what caused the failure. [Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko] will arrive while [Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei] Prokopyev [currently staying on the International Space Station] won't leave yet.

The UAE is still hoping to send its astronaut to space on April 5 next year despite the recent launch failure of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Roscosmos says they should be able to have a complete study of the failure by October 20.

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. But he told Rossia-24 television that the pressure was not any greater than what they endured during training for the mission.

This is the first emergency landing with this type of carrier rocket over the past 35 years.

"There was no time to be nervous, because we had to work", he said. "My eyes were looking out the window trying to gauge exactly where we were going to be", Hague said.

Mysterious polio-like illness baffles medical experts while frightening parents
But officials haven't been able to find a single agent that would explain the clusters of cases that occur around the same time. Messonnier said West Nile virus, which had been listed as a possible cause on the CDC's website, is not causing the illnesses.

Krikalyov said findings of the investigation are expected to be released by the end of next week. Pressure returned to normal.

Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin shrugged off on Tuesday his emergency landing last week, saying there had been no time to worry as his capsule plunged back to earth. "If you look at pictures of our capsule laying on the steppes of Kazakhstan you realize that we weren't going fast enough for anything to char, to have any of the plasma that you would normally have from a re-entry", he explained.

The astronaut did feel pressure changes during the capsule's descent.

"They are constantly trying to build a ideal spacecraft, but it can't be flawless all the time, so we have contingencies in place and we have other fail-safe systems", he said. Hague, making his first launch, saw the curvature of Earth and the blackness of space.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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