NASA and Russia's aborted Soyuz flight shows how far we've come

CNET | 10/12/2018 | Claire Reilly
Cayley1561 (Posted by) Level 3
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NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin shake hands before taking off on a six-month mission to the ISS (the mission was aborted shortly after takeoff).

Just 50 years ago, the idea of sending a Russian and an American on a rocket into space would have been the start of a terrible knock-knock joke.

Decades - Space - Race - World - Superpowers

But just a few decades after the space race saw the world's biggest superpowers go head-to-head to reach the moon, all as a not-so-subtle sign of who had supremacy here on Earth, space has become the ultimate symbol of cooperation.

And nowhere is this more apparent than with the Soyuz spacecraft.

Soyuz - Spacecraft - Crew - International - Space

Since 2011, Soyuz has been the main spacecraft used to get crew to the International Space Station after the NASA retired its space shuttle program. It's the ultimate symbol of international cooperation.

The most recent Soyuz MS-10 mission landed back on Earth (and back into the global consciousness) on Thursday after it was forced to abort shortly after launching from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The rocket was set to take Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague to space for a six-month stint on the International Space Station. But now, Hague's first-ever space flight has come to an abrupt end and the crew on the ISS have been left with a rapidly warming party platter of welcome canapés.

World - Men - Descent - Move - NASA

But while the world watched as the two men made their "ballistic descent" (a move that NASA casually said in a post-landing press conference was like being shot out of a shotgun, no big deal) I couldn't help but think about the loftier mission the two men were part of.

In the 1960s, space exploration was about the biggest show in town. On paper, it was all about pushing humanity further. About following the famous words of John...
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