A Soyuz capsule that carried two astronauts away from a midflight disaster has been put on display in Moscow as a monument to mission safety.
On October 11, 2018, the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. A few minutes after liftoff, during the separation of the Soyuz-FG’s four strapon boosters, disaster struck and the rocket began to break up underneath the crewed spacecraft. Luckily, the abort system worked perfectly pulling the spacecraft clear of the stricken rocket.
Following the dramatic midflight abort, cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague touched down safely approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the launch site. Search and rescue crews were dispatched and the two men were found shaken but otherwise in good health.
On December 2, the capsule that carried Ovchinin and Hague to safety was unveiled outside Roscosmos headquarters in Moscow as part of a monument to mission safety. The monument displays the Soyuz MS-10 capsule on a raised granite base. A plaque in front of the capsule details its history and importance to the Russian space program.
The unveiling was presented by Roscomos Director General Dmitry Rogozin and attended by both Ovchinin and Hague. During the presentation, Rogozin explained how it was important to be reminded that the agency’s focus should always be flight safety.
“What happened proves the most important thing: there is nothing more important than flight safety,” said Rogozin. “We decided to put the descent module here, next to the head office of the State Corporation Roscosmos, for the simple reason that we all need to remember that day and not forget about our duty that we must do everything so that our space program works without failures.”
In addition to the unveiling ceremony, Rogozin awarded Hague with the Order of Courage during the presentation. The award recognizes and commemorates selfless acts of courage and valor.