Published: Sat, October 13, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Soyuz Crew Performs Ballistic Reentry After Booster Fails During Launch

Soyuz Crew Performs Ballistic Reentry After Booster Fails During Launch

It is also possible that this event could affect the next scheduled crew launch of three astronauts in December who were set to replace NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev and Gerst.

NASA mothballed its space-shuttle program in 2011, and since then has been paying Russian Federation about $80 million for each trip ferrying a US astronaut to the station.

The pair landed about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were rescued without injuries in Kazakhstan.

The booster carrying them failed within two minutes of flight, forcing both astronauts to make a "steep ballistic descent", NASA said.

Soyuz flights are suspended while the Russian space agency Roscosmos investigates the cause of the failure.

About two minutes after launching, the three-stage Soyuz booster rocket suffered an unspecified failure of its second stage.

Two astronauts from the US and Russia were safe after an emergency landing Thursday in the steppes of Kazakhstan following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station.

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Wiseman said the astronauts were alerted about one second in advance by a warning light inside the capsule before it was separated from the malfunctioning Soyuz rocket. This caused the capsule to drop very sharply into the Earth's atmosphere.

As described by Popular Mechanics, the term refers to a way of landing built into the capsule, in case of emergencies like this one.

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin also praised his team, saying in a translated interview that "the crew performed fantastically".

According to the state news agency RIA Novosti and Russian state television at the launch site, the crew parachuted to Earth in an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.

"I think the investigation is going to go swiftly", he said, but gave no further details on the preliminary findings. He said Russian Federation will share all relevant information with the U.S. A small air pressure leak was discovered in the Soyuz section of the International Space Station, the likely result of a manufacturing flaw.

And it just goes to show that even the most seemingly routine rocket launch is never all that routine.

Hague and Ovchinin launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m. ET, heading to join the crew of the International Space Station. The crew is now being brought to Moscow. Russian activities in Ukraine, charges of interfering in the USA presidential election of 2016 and the conflict in Syria are some of the main issues. However, the two sides have continued their cooperation in space. More importantly, the incident could have easily been a nightmare for the space program - another Challenger. Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of the SpaceX's Dragon v2 and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

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