Last Thursday, a Russian rocket was aborted moments after liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying one Russian cosmonaut and one American astronaut. That astronaut, Air Force Colonel Nick Hague, is no stranger to dangerous situations in the sky. Through combat deployments and his tenure as an Air Force test pilot, Hague has found himself in a hurry to get back to the ground before… but never in quite so rapid, or dramatic, a fashion.
Hague has been an astronaut since 2013, but Thursday was going to be his first ever ascent into orbit. As he and the flight’s commander, cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin, took off, they braced themselves for what they anticipated to be one hell of a six-hour ride all the way to the International Space Station some 250 miles above their heads. Instead, just two minutes after the rocket left the launchpad, the two-man crew began shaking violently.
You can see footage from inside the capsule at that moment in this video: