Two astronauts make emergency landing after Russian rocket malfunctions during lift-off

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague were confident before liftoff

NASA said American astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 2:40 pm local time from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket.

Those precious few minutes of elation in Peabody quickly turned into an agonizing wait, as NASA confirmed there had been a booster problem with the rocket and the crew had to make an emergency exit.

The abort mode was not improvised, and is a standing contingency for crewed missions to the ISS.

However, in the meantime, this failure has a number of consequences for the agencies and the crew aboard the space station. Such a landing is created to decelerate rapidly to bring the astronauts back to the ground, meaning it takes a steep angle of descent and can put the astronauts under extreme gravitational forces, up to eight times normal gravity, as Joe Pappalardo at Popular Mechanics reports.

Since its debut in the Soviet Union in 1966, the Soyuz has been the most-used launch vehicle in history. The crew has now touched down in Kazakhstan, where they are being attended by search and rescue personnel.

"That relationship is strong, and whatever happens terrestrially, we've always been able to keep space exploration and discovery and science separate from whatever terrestrial disputes there may be", he said.

ABC News reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov announced that all manned launches will be suspended until the investigation is complete and the cause of the rocket's failure can be pin-pointed. The missions both hope to launch in 2019, though they have each experienced delays thus far.


Hague and Ovchinin were to join the current three-person crew on the International Space Station to perform research experiments. For now, the two astronauts are safe as are NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, German astronaut Alexander Gerst and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev.

A NASA statement on the aborted launch stated: "NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the NASA team are monitoring the situation carefully".

The Expedition 57 crew members are working on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, according to NASA.

Roscosmos is forming a state commission to investigate the incident, Dean said.

This failure raises serious questions about the future of the International Space Station, as since the space shuttle's retirement in 2011 the Soyuz spacecraft and rocket were the only means by which crews have had to reach it.

Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin retained an enviable sang-froid Thursday as he realised while travelling at thousands of miles an hour that his spacecraft would have to make an emergency landing +.

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