Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

A Soyuz crew makes an emergency landing after rocket fails

A Soyuz crew makes an emergency landing after rocket fails

A Russian Soyuz rocket, carrying two-man Russian-American crew, malfunctioned and made an emergency landing in Kazhakstan.

The two astronauts-US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin-were reported to say they felt "weightlessness" as the crew capsule detached.

NASA Astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin after the emergency landing. The crew were in contact with rescue forces prior to touching down and have since been extracted from the capsule. We await further word from the search and rescue team. The contingency procedure sends the spacecraft carrying the crew on a "sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA said.

NASA and Russian Roscosmos space agency said the astronauts were in good condition after their capsule landed about 12 miles east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

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.

"Glad our friends are fine", space station commander Alexander Gerst, a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany, tweeted from orbit. The space station has enough food and supplies for the current crew to last six months, the Interfax news service reported, citing an unidentified person.

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The first recorded instance of a launch escape maneuver came in 1975, when Soyuz 18-1 took off for the Salyut 4 space station. But something went wrong minutes after liftoff, sending the Soyuz capsule into a ballistic re-entry, NASA officials said.

Flight controllers kept the three space station residents abreast of the situation after Thursday's aborted launch.

Hague was born in the same year the United States and the Soviet Union launched their first joint space mission, the Apollo-Soyuz, or Soyuz-Apollo mission in 1975.

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

Collaboration between the USA and Russian space agencies has largely steered clear of geopolitical controversies, despite a standoff between Washington and Moscow that has continued since Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The Canadian Space Agency said Thursday that it did not know whether the failed launch would affect Saint-Jacques' launch date. Neither NASA or Roscosmos will be jumping to any conclusions, but Russian Federation has promised a full investigation and is forming a team to look into how and why the rocket failed as it did.

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