U.S. astronaut Nick Hague, a member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), gestures prior to the launch of Soyuz MS-10 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

Dmitri Lovetsky/CPR News

NASA astronaut Nick Hague thought he was headed to space.

But two minutes into the October 2018 launch, a booster malfunctioned.

Hague, a graduate of and former instructor at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, returned to Earth safely. He will have his second chance to blast off to space in February.

Hague talked to Colorado Matters about how his time at the Academy helped with his training, why he’s choosing to go to space again and what mementos he plans to take with him.

“I was a blender of emotions,” he said of the emergency landing. “There’s risk associated with every launch so it really boils down to making sure there’s a safety net there that’s in place. And the other part of that equation is we do it because it’s important.”

The spacecraft will be orbiting on the 50th anniversary of the moonwalk. Hague will help conduct about 250 experiments during the six-month mission.

“The ones that I have the most skin in the game, if you will, are the ones where I’m the guinea pig, I’m the human test subject, where they’re trying to research the effects of flying in space on the human body,” he said.

Hague and two other crewmates are scheduled to launch Feb. 28 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.