US, Russian astronauts safe after failed launch

US, Russian astronauts safe after failed launch

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster carrying a new crew to the International Space Station blasts off at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 11, 2018.

The capsule then began what Nasa termed a "ballistic descent", subjecting the crew to greater G-force - the force imposed on a body by rapid acceleration or deceleration - than during a normal landing.

NASA said it has been informed by Russian space officials that the crew has made an emergency landing at an unspecified location in Kazakhstan and is in good condition. Cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov separated the capsule and landed safely near the launchpad.

Photographs released by Roscosmos after the rescue showed the two astronauts smiling and relaxing on sofas at a town near their landing site as they underwent blood pressure and cardiac tests.

That's a diplomatic way to say the Russian booster failed, forcing the crew to perform a risky launch abort.

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.

"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.

The mission was supposed to be Hague's first trip into space, and Ovchinin's second six-month stay at the station.

Hague and Ovchinin were travelling to the ISS to join three other crewmates for ISS Expedition 57.

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However, in the meantime, this failure has a number of consequences for the agencies and the crew aboard the space station.

Russian Soyuz are now the only vehicle used to carry astronauts to the orbiting Space Station, after the US retired its space shuttle fleet.

Since its debut in the Soviet Union in 1966, the Soyuz has been the most-used launch vehicle in history.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said all manned launches will be suspended pending an investigation into the cause of the failure.

They later clarified that the issue caused the boosters to switch off.

Until a full investigation can be completed by Roscosmos, Russia's space agency, the Soyuz rocket is grounded. Spacecraft returning from the ISS normally land in that region.

Hague was born in the same year the U.S. and the Soviet Union launched their first joint space mission, the Apollo-Soyuz, or Soyuz-Apollo mission in 1975. Helicopters have already dispatched to look for the Soyuz space capsule, she said.

Rogozin was flying to the scene of the emergency landing, the space agency said.

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