US, Russia astronauts make emergency landing

Mindy Sparks
October 12, 2018

Roscosmos, the Russian firm that operates the nation's space agency and is responsible for Soyuz launches, will not hold any news conferences today.

Two astronauts from the USA and Russian Federation have made an emergency landing after a booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station failed after launch.

Thursday's problem occurred when the first and second stages of a booster rocket, launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome of Baikonur in the central Asian country, were separating, triggering emergency systems soon after launch.

Luckily, rescuers maintained contact and reached the downed men before helicoptering them back to safety.

Nasa has been paying for seats on Soyuz rockets to ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station since the Space Shuttle programme ended in 2011.

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. We await further word from the search and rescue team.

Both astronauts were said to be "alive" on Thursday morning, but their exact condition is not known - according to local Russian report.

It's now unclear what's next for the astronauts - other than that they are being taken to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia for evaluation.


A NASA statement on the aborted launch stated: "NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the NASA team are monitoring the situation carefully".

In 2003, when Expedition 6 crew members Ken Bowersox and Don Pettit and their cosmonaut counterpart Nikolai Budarin returned from a five-month stay aboard the ISS, their automated controls failed, forcing the re-entry in ballistic mode.

There are a few potential alternatives to leaving the ISS without a crew for the first time in almost 20 years, but given the risk-adverse nature of human spaceflight, it seems unlikely NASA or Roscosmos will want to tempt fate on any of them. He added that a "thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted".

The rocket was carrying U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin.

Hague and Ovchinin were to join the current three-person crew on the International Space Station to perform research experiments. Search and rescue crews are getting ready to reach the expected landing site.

Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague had blasted off on a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Two astronauts have made an emergency landing after the rocket they were travelling in malfunctioned. Their Soyuz spacecraft will dock at the orbiting outpost six hours later.

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

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER