• ‘Emergency system performed great’: Soyuz reliable despite scare - ex-cosmonaut to RT

    Aleksandr Lazutkin, who traveled to the Soviet Union’s Mir space station, said that the rescue operation to retrieve Aleksey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague, who were forced to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan on Thursday, shortly after take-off, was nearly flawless, “like a Swiss watch.” Despite Thursday’s scare, Lazutkin also heaped praise on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.

    “There was an emergency situation with the booster. But the emergency system to save the crew performed great – so the main thing was to get these people back to earth unharmed, and this is what happened.”

    The pair were uninjured and didn’t need to be hospitalized.

    Recalling his own flights into space, Lazutkin told RT that he felt “completely at ease” during his launches.

    “I don’t know of any technology that would be more reliable than the Soyuz craft. It’s not as comfortable as the newer crafts, but it’s very reliable.”

    The retired cosmonaut also joked: “Of course, I would prefer nice seats with flight attendants, but of course at the moment, we don’t have that. That’s in the future.”

    EXCLUSIVE: First video of cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and #NASA astronaut Nick Hague following emergency landing #Soyuz#roscosmos

    Lazutkin also dismissed the notion that Thursday’s accident would ground space flights for an extended period of time, pointing out that flights will have to continue to resupply the International Space Station.

    “Everything will be done, first of all, to understand what happened, but I don’t think there’s going to be much of a delay. The next flight is going to be delayed a bit – just a bit.”

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