Russian Space Crew Makes Emergency Landing

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American, Russian alive after Soyuz rocket headed to space station fails on launch

The capsule then began what Nasa termed a "ballistic descent", subjecting the crew to greater G-force - the force imposed on a body by rapid acceleration or deceleration - than during a normal landing.

A U.S. -Russian crew aboard a Soyuz spacecraft safely made an emergency return to Earth on shortly after launching on what was supposed to be a mission to the International Space Station.

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.

Just over two minutes into the flight of the latest Soyuz rocket, delivering crew members to the International Space Station, the booster suffered some kind of in-flight accident, as debris was spotted in the rocket's wake during live coverage of the launch.

Luckily, these crew members will not be stranded on the space station, as they will return to earth in the capsules they traveled to the station in.

"Search and rescue teams report they are in contact with the Soyuz crew, who report they are in good condition", Nasa wrote on Twitter.

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

Sergei Krikalev, a senior Roscosmos official, said on Friday that Russian Federation may also delay a planned unmanned cargo shipment by a Progress spacecraft to the ISS.

A government commission has been formed to investigate the cause of the accident, according to a tweet from Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos.

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"A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted", Bridenstine said, saying the safety of the crew was the utmost priority for NASA. "The emergency rescue systems of the MS-Soyuz spacecraft worked smoothly".

"As we wait for the conclusions of a Russian probe, the Soyuz will perhaps be grounded for some time", he told AFP. "That means the crew will not be going to the International Space Station today".

It was to be the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013.

But something went wrong minutes after liftoff, sending the Soyuz capsule into a ballistic re-entry, NASA officials said.

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

The three astronauts now on board the space station have been informed of the failed launch and their schedule for the day is being reshuffled, since they'll no longer be able to greet the incoming duo.

Russian Soyuz are now the only vehicle used to carry astronauts to the orbiting Space Station, after the US retired its space shuttle fleet.

Most recently, a mysterious hole was detected on the Russian section of the ISS in August, and a Soyuz launch failure destroyed 18 satellites in November 2017.

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. The launch was proceeding normally until the first mention of booster failure at about the 3:30 mark. That leaves NASA dependent on Russian Federation and its Soyuz rockets until then. Ovchinin spent six months on the orbiting outpost in 2016. Roscosmos sent more than 70 rocket engines back to production lines to replace faulty components.

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