‘It is such a magical experience’: Kansas astronaut talks about his time in space

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Astronaut Nick Hague talked with KSN Tuesday about his successful space mission and how it has been for his family.

Hague was born in Belleville and grew up in Hoxie.

The astronaut returned home from the International Space Station after spending six months in space. The team landed in Kazakhstan on Oct. 3.

Hague says he wakes up and wonders if it is all just a dream. He says his time in space was a magical experience and such a privilege.

“It’s worth it in terms of what we’re able to accomplish and the mission that’s going on in the station,” said Hague, NASA astronaut. “The boundaries in science that we’re pushing and the more we’re understanding about ourselves and the world around us, it’s worth it and you get a very palpable sense of that being part of it right there at the leading edge of that.”

Hague was on a launch that failed last year. He and Aleksey Ovchinin had to make an abrupt landing after their rocket’s sensors went out. He says the experience provided him with a second chance.

“There’s one thing that I’ve learned, what really defines you is how you face adversity,” said Hague. “That was an obstacle for sure and looking at that it gives you a moment so that you can take stock in ‘What am I trying to accomplish?’ and ‘Why am I trying to do it?'”

He says he’s asked a lot of his family, especially after the aborted launch last year, but they understand that what they are accomplishing is much greater than the time they spend apart.

“There was definitely a period of time following the abort where, as a family, I sit with my wife and discuss, with our boys and discuss, why is it that we’re doing what we’re doing and it really ended up becoming an exercise in recommitting to what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Hague.

The astronaut says he was able to share his story through different events in Kansas and he plans to follow up on those visits soon by coming in person to visit hometowns across the state and share the magic of space flight.

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