Russia bestows medal on U.S astronaut

Russian President Vladimir Putin bestowed a prestigious state award for courage on Nick Hague. He is a US astronaut who survived a botched space launch last year. He was awarded on the basis of professionalism he had shown during the rocket failure.

The Order of Courage is one of Russia?s top state awards and is often given posthumously.

Background:

  • A Russian Soyuz rocket bound for the International Space Station malfunctioned two minutes after liftoff on Oct. 11, 2018, forcing its two-man crew of Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin to make an emergency landing.
  • After the accident, Hague and Ovchinin successfully launched to the International Space Station aboard another Soyuz rocket.

Space exploration is one of the few areas in which tensions over Ukraine, Syria have not undermined cooperation between Russia and the United States.

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