US, Russian astronauts survive Soyuz emergency landing

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USA astronaut Nick Hague, right and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), walk prior to the launch of Soyuz MS-10 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

NASA rookie Nick Hague and second-time flyer Aleksey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency were setting off for a six-month mission at the International Space Station Thursday, on a relatively rare two-man launch.

"The launch had a problem with the booster (rocket) a few seconds after the first stage separation and we can confirm now that the crew has started to go into ballistic descent mode", the voiceover on a NASA livestream from mission control in Houston said. A cloud of sand billowed up as the capsule came down on the desert steppe. Just over a minute after the launch, the spacecraft's booster failed and the launch was aborted.

"Teams have been in contact with the crew".

NASA has relied on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station since the United States retired its Space Shuttle program in 2011, although the agency has announced plans for a test flight carrying two astronauts on a SpaceX commercial rocket next April.

It was USA astronaut Nick Hague calmly relaying information in Russian to flight controllers. Russia's Investigative Committee has also opened a criminal investigation.

Roscosmos is claiming that the Investigative Committee's inquiry into this week's rocket failure will be completed by October 20, which seems a bit rushed.

When asked about the accident, USA president Donald Trump said that he was "not at all worried" that Americans had to rely on Russians to go to space. And from what we know so far ... the crew's efforts, were heroic. The crew is now being brought to Moscow.

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques had been scheduled to be on the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft on December 20.

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

There are now three crew members aboard the ISS: NASA astronaut Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst, and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev. "We are planning their flight for the spring next year", Rogozin wrote, posting a photograph of himself with his arms around the two men aboard a plane.

The Soyuz is considered to be the most reliable spacecraft in the world in terms of its safety record. "The crew has been saved". "That means the crew will not be going to the International Space Station today". But the incident highlights recent tensions that have surfaced in a long-running collaboration in space between the USA and Russian Federation. The hole cause a small oxygen leak while hooked up to the ISS. Rogozin has said it could have been sabotage. Russian Federation says there is enough food on board to last until April.

"I feel very confident that we could fly for a significant amount of time [without a crew]", he said.

He and Ovchinin were due to join Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, NASA Flight Engineer Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev on the ISS.

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