Putin awards U.S. astronaut Nick Hague the Russian Order of Courage

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague received the Russian Order of Courage from President Vladimir Putin for his actions nearly a year ago when he and a cosmonaut had to abort a mission shortly after takeoff, officials announced Tuesday.

Undated photo of NASA astronaut Nick Hague, who will receive an honor from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo by NASA

Putin signed the decree for the honor Tuesday, which was published on the country’s official legal information portal.

The decree said that Hague was being recognized “for courage and high professionalism shown while performing his duties in the conditions of an increased risk to life when an emergency situation occurred at the Baikonur cosmodrome.”

Hague and cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin aborted their mission after a booster rocket for the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft failed after takeoff on Oct. 11, 2018. Both managed to land safely in Kazakhstan in the first failure of a manned Soviet flight in history.

The two made it back into space in March to the International Space Station and returned to Earth on Thursday.

First and second degree “Order for Merit to the Fatherland” recognitions will be awarded to some employees of the Roscosmos state space corporation, the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, according to the decree.

The Lavochkin Research and Production Association, the Vostochny space center and the Progress rocket and space center, will also be honored. “For Merit in Space Exploration” medals will be given to 12 others.

A graduate from the Air Force Academy and MIT, Hague conducted biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science experiments while at the ISS.

Those included investigations into devices that mimic the structure and function of human organs, free-flying robots, and an instrument to measure Earth’s distribution of carbon dioxide.

ByClyde Hughes