Russian Federation opens criminal probe over failed rocket launch

-Russian crew of a Soyuz spacecraft taking them to the orbiting International Space Station had to make a dramatic emergency landing in Kazakhstan on Thursday when a rocket failed in mid-air. But something went wrong minutes after liftoff, sending the Soyuz capsule into a ballistic re-entry, NASA officials said.

Rescue crews were quick to reach the site where Hague and Ovchinin came down, Russian news agencies said. Hague and his crewmate Ovchinin, were scheduled to round out the crew from today until December, when the three astronauts now aboard will return to Earth.

Astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were rescued without injuries in Kazakhstan. Most recently, a mysterious hole was detected on the Russian section of the ISS in August, and a Soyuz launch failure destroyed 18 satellites in November 2017.

USA and Russian space officials said NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin are safe after an emergency landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station. "Today showed again what an fantastic vehicle the Soyuz is, to be able to save the crew from such a failure".

The hole was detected in August and quickly sealed up, but Russian newspapers said Roscosmos was probing the possibility that USA crewmates had sabotaged the space station to get a sick colleague sent back home. It had taken off, as usual, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the country's south.


The politician has clashed with the United States, suggesting American astronauts should use trampolines instead of Russian rockets to reach the ISS after Washington imposed sanctions over Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

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.

It's the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013. Yet Soyuz MS-10 had to abort the space mission after the booster's malfunction. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted. "That means the crew will not be going to the International Space Station today".

Hague was originally scheduled to participate in spacewalks in the coming weeks to replace batteries on the outside of the space station. This is especially tricky, as the new batteries arrived later than expected after a series of launch delays from the Japanese cargo vehicle they were on. Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for NASA. But exactly when the astronauts will be sent home is still unclear.

SpaceX plans to launch an uncrewed test flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft by January, but could be ready to launch in December depending on NASA's needs, the company has said.

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