Soyuz Rocket Failure

US Astronaut talks terrifying moments in space.
4:56 | 10/17/18

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Transcript for Soyuz Rocket Failure
I'm David Curley in Washington it was just last Thursday we watch this Soyuz launch would look good at the beginning but when there was separation from the first state to the second stage. You know the astronaut and cosmonaut had looked fine or earlier once that separation happened. Watch what happened the impact. Of the flight being aborted the actual capsule being rocketed away from a failing second stage what was that like. Colonel Nikkei gives the astronaut who was on board we had a chance to talk to a astronaut colonel nick Haig who had quite the amazing ride joins us from Houston thank you sir for joining us you look no worse for the Wear. Yeah I'm actually feeling great. All things considered walked away landscape and I am extremely thankful for that well there was dramatic pictures on this story of what actually happened to you were in your cosmonaut partner in the so it is we got a sense from NASA base said. You saw the light but did you feel something that was wrong it's separation from not. First stage the second stage what was your first indication. The automated response from the bill rescue system bit that takes us away from the rocket is so fast that our first. That was our indication that something was not quite right and in in the middle of all of that we have the alarm and and the light that's flashing inside the capsule saying it we've had an emergency with a rocket or booster failure. It it's at that point you know as I'm trying to trying to maintain. Visual on that and were being tossed around a little bit in our straps. That blurry vision of seeing a light where it's at booster failure. That was the point grad I have realized hey we're not gonna make it to orbit today what when will we see those pictures inside the capsule. What were we actually seeing happening to you and are calling. The first frame or two before the feed cuts from the capsule of us being shaken side to side. Unity continued for a little while after that before it settled out and then it was kind of slow coasting ride to the top of our ballistic trajectory. And the other thing that you don't necessarily see in the air that geez that you feel as your being. Accelerated away from the booster. It's a fairly high G load but it's of a fairly brief period of time. It I think though lot of folks and realize that that's you actually getting clear of the malfunctioning booster. Yeah you know that's the response time for that system. It is unbelievably fast as soon as it senses anything wrong with the booster it's trying to get us out of there as quick as possible and you know that's that's the system that saved our lives and you know Lex and I are standing because of that so I've got to send out a you know a huge thank. Thanks to the people that work on that system let's talk about this we see your violent abort escape from the booster. You're only half way to space so you continue to move to a certain point then gravity comes in and we called it they call you call it a ballistic reentry. What happened when you reached that apex and you start falling back to earth there were a couple things that happened at the top. I got to experience a few seconds of weightlessness and I was able to watch a few things float around in the end the capsule. Were floating around. I was also able to look out the window. You know and looking down at the curvature of the earth and out into the blackness of space and and realizing I got close. But it wasn't going to be this time. Everyone thinks of ballistic return but the parachutes. Deployed and it said lending like any other Soyuz capsule absolutely. The the idea the ballistic return is just it's. Everything to get you to the point where the chutes are gonna open and so ballistic just means there were coming down on a fairly steep trajectory. And so the G loads that we're going to experience are going to be higher than you normally would. Ours were just about seven g.s. On a normal reentry you might have five G so we weren't that much. Higher in terms of the G load that we had to experience than than a normal reentry. It's so in those regards based on where the emergency occurred we we were pretty lucky but you're disappointed I'm not speaking to you in space. It absolutely. You spend. I've been here at NASA five years I've been spent two years dedicated to. Training for the mission on orbit I was supposed to be. Doing a space walk two days from now all of those things are things that I was very much looking forward to duke. But you know. Like there's an always give your vote when and how it turns out so. I can tell you that I feel great now and that when NASA wants me to fly am ready to go colonel Nikkei able to speak to you again on earth and hopefully one day in space thanks for joining us and sharing this story. Astronaut Nick Cave was actually supposed to be on a space fought this week so he is back in Houston now. And in essence that the back of the line he's waiting for NASA did film when he might fly again. I'm David Curley in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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