Astronauts survive emergency landing after booster fails on Russian rocket

Astronauts survive emergency landing after booster fails on Russian rocket

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.

NASA said that rescue teams have reached Hague and Ovchinin and they've been taken out of the capsule and were in good condition.

US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are counting down to their 4:40am ET Thursday launch to the station.

The two-man crew of a Soyuz rocket made a successful emergency landing on Thursday after an engine problem on lift-off to the International Space Station, in a major setback for the beleaguered Russian space industry.

'The capsule is returning via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal.

NASA earlier tweeted that there had been an issue with the booster and that its teams were heading towards the expected touchdown location. The crew landed about 20 kilometers east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, where rescue crews were scrambled to find them.

NASA and its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, have both confirmed that there will be an investigation into what went wrong during the launch.

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The four strap-on boosters were jettisoned shortly after liftoff, as per procedure, and the capsule was being propelled under the power of its second stage core booster when the mishap occurred, triggering an emergency abort.

The Soyuz spacecraft was thrown clear of the rocket and plunged back to Earth for a ballistic landing, with peak acceleration estimated at 6 to 7 G's.

A senior Cabinet official says that Russia is suspending manned space launches pending a probe into a Russian booster rocket failure minutes after the launch. Spacecraft returning from the ISS normally land in that region.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists: "Thank God the cosmonauts are alive". The station's supplies of oxygen, food and other consumables would be enough to last the astronauts for years, Hadfield said.

The Soyuz rocket had taken off at about 04:40 Eastern time (GMT-4; 2:40 p.m. local time) for a six-hour flight to the ISS.

While there is another Soyuz capsule docked at the station, Hadfield said using it to send the current crew home would not be under consideration. The launch was to have been Hague's first space mission. Ovchinin spent six months on the orbiting outpost in 2016. Last month, the current ISS crew discovered a hole in the vessel that Russian Federation claims was drilled deliberately.

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