Nick Hague: as a child, he dreamt of stars and now heads to space

Nick Hague, during his childhood, growing up in Kansas, used to look up to the stars and always dreamt of exploring the unknown. Now the time has come, when his dreams will turn into reality as he is preparing to blast off to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft this October. 

Hague, a 42-year-old father, an engineer, and colonel with the U.S. Air Force is one amongst the eight-member crew selected for astronaut training programme by NASA in 2013 and is also one of the 42 active astronauts, who are eligible for flight assignment.

While at Air Force, he worked as an engineer for satellites and spacecraft. After which he attended test pilot school at the Edwards Air Force Base and gained confidence that his dreams might turn into reality.

Before shooting off to space from Kazakhstan on the Expedition 57 on a six months tour, Hague has to undergo extensive training in all aspects from Russian to spacewalks to robotics and the development of psychological mindset of sharing spaces that are small. 

At the Johnson Space Center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, in Houston, Hague mentioned from the Space Stations replica that that preparation had been a two and a half year mission altogether on the home front. 

The training process has been intense. On receiving valuable instruction on the use of equipment while on a spacewalk, Hague has to once get into his space suit for almost 6 ½ hours for underwater simulation in Neutral buoyancy labs in Houston, which actually is a mimic of zero gravity, same as that in space in a pool that was forty feet deep. 

He mentioned that it was quite early that he fancied his dreams and his love for space. He said that while growing up as a kid, staring at the sky in the night and imagining to explore the unknowns out there and figure out what’s new. 

Hague was trained with NASA’s partners in Japan, Russia, and Europe in addition to his training in Houston. Long periods of separation during his training from his two young boys and his wife, also in the U.S. Air Force has been the most challenging part of his job; he mentioned saying. 

Hague said that he looks ahead to be the ears and the eyes of the scientists on Earth. He is going to work in tandem with Russian cosmonauts in monitoring shifts of bodily fluids that happen in space. Some astronauts earlier have returned from such missions in space with differences in their eyesight.