Russian space rocket fails in mid-air, two men land safely

Mindy Sparks
October 13, 2018

"And that means that the crew inside experiences higher G-force loads as they go through the landing".

They said Soyuz landed near the city of Zhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan.

He recalled the tense moment when he heard Hague reporting the G-forces in Russian to Mission Control, followed by a break in communications and the loss of flight data.

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

The capsule made a "ballistic landing" and rescue teams recovered the pair, who are reportedly in "good condition", NASA says.

With many in Congress wary about the high costs of manned space exploration, NASA has shifted priorities, and budgets, toward other programs.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have sunk to post-Cold War lows over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential vote, but they have kept co-operating in space.

A manufacturing error could be to blame, Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed Russian space expert as saying. An investigation is underway, and Bridenstine said he doesn't expect the next mission taking a crew to the space station in December to be delayed.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Kenny Todd, NASA's ISS Operations Integration Manager, said that the agency is "always prepared" for the possibility of having to de-crew the station and that he feels "very confident that we could fly for a significant amount of time" with no crew, as the systems are created to be able to continue operating - although not indefinitely. Russia's Investigative Committee has also opened a criminal investigation.

International Space Station crew members astronaut Nick Hague of the U.S. and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russian Federation board the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft for the launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan on Thursday.

'Rescue services have been working since the first second of the accident, ' Rogozin wrote on Twitter. The Soyuz-MS spacecraft emergency rescue system worked properly. "The crew has been saved".

"Thank God, the crew is alive", Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, told reporters when it became clear the crew had landed safely. Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometres (280 miles) northeast of Baikonur, and spacecraft returning from the space station normally land in that area.

NASA officials now must decide how or whether to maintain a USA presence on the $100 billion orbital research laboratory.

He rejected suggestions it could harm United States relations, saying they recognised it was a "hi-tech industry linked to risk", but he added: "We certainly won't hide the reasons, it is uncommon for such situations". The teams are now searching for the crew.

"We have a lot of things planned through the rest of the fall and the winter, and that's all just being reassessed right now", Sam Scimemi, NASA's director for the International Space Station, told Reuters.

Kenny Todd, a space station manager, said from Houston that the three-member space station crew can stay on board until January. The astronauts were to dock at the space station six hours after the launch and join an American, a Russian and a German on board. The rocket was launched was from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 8.40am GMT.

Visiting Kazakhstan for the first time as NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine witnessed Thursday's launch and promised a "thorough investigation" into the mishap. I'm grateful that everyone is safe.

There have been only two similar aborted manned space launches in the history of the Soviet space programme. Asked about the malfunction which forced the emergency landing, Todd said it was "very hard to the untrained eye to try and diagnose" exactly what happened, but that it was a "major anomaly" with the Soyuz system.

And in November past year, Roscosmos lost contact with a newly-launched weather satellite - the Meteor-M - after it blasted off from Russia's new Vostochny cosmodrome in the Far East.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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