October 8, 2019 / 2:57 PM / 13 days ago

Putin bestows award for courage on U.S. astronaut who survived rocket failure

FILE PHOTO: The International Space Station (ISS) crew member Nick Hague of the U.S. gestures after donning space suits shortly before launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan March 14, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday bestowed a prestigious state award for courage on Nick Hague, the U.S. astronaut who survived a botched space launch last year.

A Russian Soyuz rocket bound for the International Space Station malfunctioned two minutes after liftoff on Oct. 11, 2018, forcing its two-man crew of Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin to make an emergency landing.

They landed unscathed in the Kazakh steppe after plunging 31 miles (50 km) in a capsule with parachutes slowing their descent.

Almost a year after the accident, Putin awarded Hague the Order of Courage, according to a decree published on a government portal, noting the professionalism he had shown during the rocket failure.

It was not immediately clear whether or when Hague would receive his award at a ceremony.

Russian investigators have said the rocket failure was caused by a sensor that was damaged during assembly at the Soviet-era cosmodrome at Baikonur.

Hague last week returned to Earth having successfully made it to the International Space Station in a repeat launch in March this year.

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Gareth Jones

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below