No time to be nervous: cosmonaut shrugs off emergency landing

Science

MOSCOW (Reuters) – 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.

FILE PHOTO: The International Space Station (ISS) crew member cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russia gestures after donning a space suit shortly before a launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan October 11, 2018. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo

Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague had to abort their mission on Oct. 11 after the Soyuz rocket supposed to carry them to the International Space Station failed.

In an interview with Rossiya-24 television, Ovchinin described the huge G-forces the crew experienced. “Imagine if a reinforced concrete block seven times your weight was placed on your chest,” he said.

However, Ovchinin insisted he had experienced greater G-forces during training exercises. “There was actually no time to be nervous. We had to work. We had to carry out various actions that have to be done by the crew to prepare for an emergency landing,” he said.

Video from inside the capsule showed the two men being shaken around at the moment the failure on the Soyuz occurred, with their arms and legs flailing. Ovchinin could be heard saying: “That was a quick flight.”

Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by David Stamp

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