"The first thing I really noticed was being shaken pretty violently side to side", he said during his first publicly broadcast interviews since his Soyuz rocket failed shortly after liftoff on October 11.
Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague spoke separately Tuesday about their frightening experience when an unknown mishap caused their Russian Soyuz to abort its mission 60 kilometers (37 miles) above Kazakhstan. The Russian booster rocket failed, forcing the spacecraft to make an emergency landing. As we were going through all of this, he was able to tell me what's normal, what's not normal", Hague said.While navigating their capsule back to earth, Hague kept his eyes glued to the window, hoping for a safe landing."Were we going end up landing on water?
Ovchinin said he and Hague understood something was wrong when emergency lights came on in the cabin. But while Hague had been through simulations of all sorts of midflight events, he had never flown to space before, which meant he wasn't always sure whether an experience was typical of spaceflight or unique to their abrupt journey.
"Everything was new for me, it was my first time, so I have to give kudos to my commander Alexey Ovchinin".
According to an announcement made by Roscosmos, it appears that the source of the urgent abort was a crash of elements in the time of the separation of the Soyuz-FG rocket's first phase. "And at any moment in there that we could have a failure, it's going to protect me", he said, describing the aborted launch as "just a great example of those fail-safe systems stepping in and doing the job".
"I was supposed to be doing a spacewalk two days from now", he said.
He also took the opportunity to look out the window - not exclusively to admire Earth and space, but also to check how the spacecraft was positioned.
They landed on the smooth, flat terrain of Kazakhstan. Reportedly, we may hear more about it sometime after October 20.
"That system hadn't been tested in 35 years, but we tested it last week, and it's ready", he said. His youngest wanted to know when he was going back to space. That includes monitoring the capsule's orientation and how systems are responding to different inputs.