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Former Edwards test pilot, now astronaut makes second launch to ISS

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Few Airman astronauts have aborted their space flight mission after launch, and even fewer received the opportunity to relaunch just months later.

Col. Nick Hague, an astronaut, is scheduled for a second mission to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz MS-12, March 14, 2019, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Hague, who is set to join the Expedition 59 crew, will conduct hundreds of research investigations and technology demonstrations to advance scientific knowledge of Earth, space, physical and biological sciences, according to NASA.

On Oct. 11, 2018, Hague and his commander, Russian astronaut Alexey Ochinin, were forced to abort their mission when their rocket booster failed to detach once they reached zero gravity.

“We (were) at the apex of our trajectory, and I’m staring out there at the curve of the Earth, and the darkness of space … you’re so close you can touch it,” Hague said. “And to have that ripped out of your hands, that’s devastating.”

As they plummeted to Earth at 4,700 miles per hour, Hague’s years of Air Force training enabled his life-saving response.

“The career I had leading up to that launch prepared me to respond to that situation,” Hague said. “It wasn’t my first in-flight emergency – we had those when I was doing flight testing out at Edwards Air Force Base (California). I think what you realize as you gain these experiences is the best thing you can do in the situation to help yourself is maintain your cool and trust in your training.”

Hague began training with NASA in 2013, and learned to handle maintenance activities, maintain the space station as a national laboratory for research and conduct space walks to fix issues outside the station. A sizable amount of his training also included learning to fly the Soyuz with Ochinin.

“There’s this common understanding we have with each other … that even though I may be speaking broken Russian to him, and he’s speaking broken English to me, we understand each other,” Hague said. “We’ve been able to sit in the simulator over the last year and a half, to the point where we know how each other is thinking and we anticipate each other’s moves and we’re backing each other up … it feels like a well-oiled machine and no different than any crew I could put together in the U.S. – we’re in it together.”

Though his arrival to the ISS was temporarily delayed, Hague knows the information gathered from this mission will be worth it.

“The mission we’re doing is so important,” Hague said after his initial launch. “It’s a mission where we’re going up there and collecting data so the scientists on the ground can better understand our world, they can better understand our bodies, they can better understand the world around us … and that’s a vital mission that’s benefitting all of humanity.

“Just because there’s some bumps in the road, or some obstacles, doesn’t mean we give up,” he continued. “We learn from our failures and we move forward.”

(Editor’s Note: Quotes from this article were pulled from The Air Force Podcast with Col. Nick Hague, NASA Astronaut. The podcast in its entirety can be found under related links.)

Edwards provides care, opportunities for children aged six weeks through high school graduation

Edwards provides care, opportunities for childrenaged six weeks through high school graduation

The Child and Youth Program at Edwards AFB provides care and opportunities for kids ages six weeks old through high school graduation. A brief summary of those services follows:

  •                    The Child Development Center cares for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, with a DOD-wide curriculum. The curriculum is focused on learning through play activities supporting social, emotional, physical and intellectual development. Installations across DOD follow the curriculum on the same timeline to allow seamless permanent change-of-station transitions for youth enrolled in care.
  •                    The School Age Center provides before and after-school care and summer camp for children ages 5 to 12. During school breaks, full-day camps are offered. SAC promotes cognitive, social, emotional, cultural, language and physical development through programs that encourage self-confidence, curiosity, self-discipline and resiliency.
  •                    The open recreation program at the Main Youth Center provides a safe space for ages 9 to 12 to attend after school. Programs include Power Hour, STEM, Torch Club, social recreation, youth camps, special events and more.
  •                    The youth sports program provides intro and league opportunities for ages 3 to 12, and promotes inclusiveness, self-discipline, commitment, resiliency and social skills. There are four sports offered annually for ages five to 12: baseball/softball, soccer, flag football and basketball. Smart start programs are available to ages 3 to 5. There are many other sports and camps offered throughout the year.
  •                    The Teen Center is available for ages 13 to 18 during the school year. Programs offered include Military Youth of the Year, Keystone Club, social recreation, STEM activities, college trips, leadership camps and more.
  •                    Youth programs (SAC, open rec and teen) are affiliated with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and 4-H.
  •                    Family Child Care homes – there are currently three FCC homes on the installation. They can provide care for ages two weeks to 12 years. FCC providers are trained by Child and Youth Program training and curriculum specialists and have the flexibility to determine their hours of operation and the ages of youth within their care. The program’s new dedicated manager, Jennifer Stegmann, may be reached at 661-275-7529.

Although CDC enrollment capacity is 317, not all slots are currently filled because of a shortage of childcare workers. School Age Center enrollment capacity is 156. After-school care enrollment is 130. Before-school care enrollment is 75. Summer Camp 2022 was at its capacity and enrollment for Summer Camp 2023 opens April 3.