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Crew Safe After Soyuz Launch Abort

12 October 2018

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying two astronauts to the International Space Station failed this morning shortly after liftoff, forcing the two-man crew to make an emergency landing outside of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan.

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

Russian agency Interfax said there was an "emergency shutdown of second-stage engines" when the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft launched. 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.

The duo had lifted off from the Russian-operated Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The rocket was transporting NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos for a six-month stay on the ISS.

Russian Federation has continued to rely on Soviet-designed booster rockets for launching commercial satellites, as well as crews and cargo to the International Space Station.

NASA has also suffered a number of launch failures over the years. This Hague's first flight.

A NASA TV commentator at Mission Control Center in Houston describes a ballistic descent or landing, such as the one on Thursday, as coming in "at a sharper angle to land than we normally land at".

Rescue crews are now heading towards the emergency landing site in the barren Kazakh steppe to provide support for the crew.

"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.

Russian Federation has continued to rely on Soviet-designed booster rockets for commercial satellites, as well as crews and cargo to the space station.

In English, Gerst says, "I'm glad our friends are doing well".

The incident comes as the US has been making progress in its quest to end Russia's monopoly on manned flights to the ISS by encouraging private companies to conduct launches.

However, Thursday's incident was the first manned launch failure since 1983 when a Soyuz rocket exploded in the launch area. He said failsafe systems operated properly by detaching the astronauts' capsule from the rocket and returning them to the ground. He is a colonel in the Air Force. The mission was carrying two crew members instead of its usual three due to Russia's delay of scientific instruments which the third passenger was trained for.

Ovchinin was heading to space for the second time, having previously served aboard the station.

Three astronauts are now living in the ISS.

"If it's something simple and easily fixable, then they could get back to flight fairly quickly - but things with rockets are hardly ever simple and easily fixable".

The launch took place one week after three members of the ISS crew returned to Earth.

The three astronauts now on board the space station have been informed of the failed launch and their schedule for the day is being reshuffled, since they'll no longer be able to greet the incoming duo. Three Americans, two Russians and one German are now aboard the station.

They were scheduled to remain up there until mid-December.

That would in theory push the time limit of the crew's return to Earth to early January.

Crew Safe After Soyuz Launch Abort