Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

U.S., Russian astronauts make emergency landing after booster rocket fails

U.S., Russian astronauts make emergency landing after booster rocket fails

Three Americans, two Russians and one German are now aboard the station.

-Russian crew of a Soyuz spacecraft en route to the International Space Station was forced to make a dramatic emergency landing in Kazakhstan on Thursday when their rocket failed in mid-air.

NASA posted pictures of NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin undergoing a medical check-up at Dzhezkazgan's airport. They will be transported to the Gargarin Cosmonaut Center in Star City, Russia outside Moscow.

US and Russian space officials said the astronauts are in good condition after Thursday's aborted launch. To make matters worse, the three current crew members must return to Earth before the end of the year as well.

Relations between the USA and Russian Federation have been very tense in recent years.

A search-and-rescue team reached the site quickly to get to the Soyuz MS-10 crew, leaving at 6:10 am EDT, according to NASA spokesperson Brandi Dean's commentary on live television. Gerst shared a photograph he snapped of the image on Twitter earlier today, which shows the launch abort from his view in space.

An "anomaly" with the booster led to the launch being aborted, NASA later said.

However, in the meantime, this failure has a number of consequences for the agencies and the crew aboard the space station. "That will give our Russian colleagues certainly the better part of two or three months to try to diagnose this problem and understand what they need to do to correct that", Todd told reporters during a hastily arranged press briefing.

The Soyuz capsule carrying Ovchinin and Hague separated from the malfunctioning Russian rocket and plunged 31 miles (50 km) down to the surface, with parachutes helping to slow its speed, NASA said.

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is on site at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where he had been on hand to watch the launch and meet with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Rogozin. Roscosmos, the Russian firm that operates the nation's space agency and is responsible for Soyuz launches, will not hold any news conferences today.

This video shows the launch of the Soyuz MS-10 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

He said all manned launches will be suspended pending an investigation into the cause of the failure. Borisov added that Russian Federation will fully share all relevant information with the U.S.

This morning, the first launch since the possible sabotage was discovered, Russia's Soyuz booster saw its first in-flight failure in recent memory, and the first manned rocket-related emergency in decades.

US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely and rescue crews who raced to locate them on the Kazakh steppe quickly linked up with them, according to the USA space agency NASA and Russia's space agency Roscosmos.

For years, since NASA's final shuttle mission launched in 2011, the USA has relied on Russian rockets to send astronauts to the International Space Station, which is largely funded by America taxpayer dollars.

Rescue crews raced to the scene to retrieve them from their landing spot, including paratroopers, helicopters and all-terrain vehicles, NASA said.

Russian Federation has continued to rely on Soviet-designed booster rockets for launching commercial satellites, as well as crews and cargo to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster carrying a new crew to the International Space Station blasts off at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 11, 2018.

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