Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Astronauts make emergency landing after Russian rocket fails after launch

Astronauts make emergency landing after Russian rocket fails after launch

A Russian rocket carrying an American and a Russian to the International Space Station failed on launch Thursday, forcing the astronaut and cosmonaut to careen back to Earth in a dramatic emergency landing.

Two astronauts made an emergency landing after their Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station malfunctioned during lift-off on Thursday.

Nasa says the search and rescue teams have reached the landing site and the crew are out of the Soyuz capsule.

A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around one kilometre away said it had gone smoothly in its initial stages and that the failure of the booster rockets must have occurred at higher altitude. The trip to the station was to take them about six hours.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have sunk to post-Cold War lows over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential vote, but they have maintained cooperation in space research. Hague and Ovchinin were set to be just the second two-man crew to travel to the space station in recent years.

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

"An investigative group has been formed and officials are now examining the launch site, documents are being seized", the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

Glitches found in Russia's Proton and Soyuz rockets in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws at the plant in Voronezh. "Search and rescue teams are heading towards the expected touchdown location of the spacecraft and crew", tweeted NASA.

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Both are reported in good condition.

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.

Russia's TASS news agency said the capsule carrying the two men separated from the troubled rocket safely.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Space Agency said Thursday it has not received any information about Saint-Jacques' mission and doesn't yet know what the impact will be on his impending launch. That mission will now be postponed until early next year, space officials said. Today it has been shown again how great the Soyuz is: despite a misstart, the crew was safely brought back to Earth.

September 27, 1983: A Soyuz rocket that was to carry Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov to a Salyut space station caught fire in the final seconds of the countdown at Baikonur. The hole cause a small oxygen leak while hooked up to the ISS.

Interfax quoted a source as saying the crash meant the three people now aboard the space station - a German, a Russian and an American - would be stuck there at least until January.

Russian Federation has set up a state commission to investigate the Soyuz booster rocket failure.

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