The crew, an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut, were only minutes into their flight when a red warning light started flashing and alarms began to blare. Within seconds, their small capsule fired its engines and began hurtling away, trying to put as much distance as possible between the crew and the rocket that was supposed to propel them into orbit but had instead malfunctioned. The 30-minute descent back to Earth violently shook the crew, subjecting them to the crushing pressure of nearly seven times the force of gravity. The capsule eventually parachuted safely to the ground, and the rescue teams collected the crew and reunited them with their families.
In a wide-ranging interview, Jim Bridenstine explains his plans for NASA, the nerve-racking Soyuz launch failure, and his views on climate change.