Soyuz Rocket Malfunctions, Emergency Rescue Under Way

Soyuz rocket

Russia's Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying the members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 57/58, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, blasts off to the ISS from the launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Baikonur on October 11, 2018.

Booster rockets carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and a U.S. astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.

Ovchinin and his colleague, NASA's Nick Hague were supposed to dock at the orbiting outpost six hours after the launch.

The Soyuz separated from the booster before returning in what NASA called a "ballistic descent", which means it came in at a sharper angle than normal with the crew experiencing higher gravitational forces.

The Russian space industry has suffered a series of problems in recent years, including the loss of a number of satellites and other spacecraft. "Spaceflight is hard. And we must keep trying for the benefit of humankind", ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted from aboard the space station as he watched and photographed the launch from space.

Russian investigators said they were launching a criminal probe into the accident, the first such incident on a manned flight in the country's post-Soviet history.

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said he had ordered a state commission to carry out an investigation into what went wrong. But soon after the landing, USA and Russian officials said that rescue forces were in contact with the astronaut and cosmonaut.

NASA said that the crew was safe and was making an emergency landing in Kazakhstan where the unsuccessful launch took place.


USA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin parachuted to the ground safely in their capsule after a booster on the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft failed, NASA and Russia's space agency said. NASA purchased seats aboard Soyuz capsules for access to the ISS following the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011.

The Russian Soyuz rocket was forced to make an emergency landing today after suffering from a malfunction.

The launch appeared to be going smoothly, but some 90 seconds into the flight, the U.S. space agency Nasa reported a problem with the booster rocket between the first and second stages separating. The crew is now being brought to Moscow.

Today's failed Soyuz launch thankfully resulted in no casualties, but the fate of the International Space Station (ISS) is now in question. The crew, which was travelling to the International Space Station, is reportedly safe and in "good condition" after the scary failure was broadcast on the web.

Russian Federation is now the only country taking crew to and from the ISS.

This incident will likely delay the scheduled mission of Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, who was set to fly to the space station in December.

Rogozin, the Roscosmos chief, has raised wide consternation by saying that an air leak spotted at the International Space Station was a drill hole that was made intentionally during manufacturing or in orbit. NASA's own transportation system, the commercial crew vehicles under development by SpaceX and Boeing, have yet to take uncrewed test flights to the station, and those are unlikely to occur before early 2019.

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