After Their Rocket Suddenly Malfunctioned, These Astronauts Were Thrown Into A Fight For Survival

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Image: BBC
Image: via BBC

Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin are strapped into their Soyuz space craft ready for launch on October 11, 2018. And thankfully for the pair, take-off initially goes to plan. Then, after 90 seconds, the men’s capsule starts to shudder fiercely, while an alarm is also sounding. Something has gone badly wrong – and at this point, neither the astronauts nor ground control know how this is going to end.

Image: NASA/Crew of STS-132
Image: NASA/Crew of STS-132

The launch of the Russian Soyuz MS-10 space capsule, powered by a Soyuz rocket, was part of International Space Station Expedition 57. The early-morning launch was from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome, and the mission had officially started on October 4, 2018, when Soyuz MS-08 had returned three astronauts from the space station back to Earth.

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Image: NASA Johnson
Image: NASA Johnson

And Hague and Ovchinin were en route to the space station as replacements for those who’d left days earlier. They were to join three others already there: German geophysicist Alexander Gerst, American doctor and engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergei Prokopyev, a Russian commander and flight engineer. The trio had traveled to the space station aboard Soyuz MS-09, arriving on June 8, 2018.

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