Astronauts forced to escape malfunctioning Soyuz rocket

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 11, 2018

Astronauts Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin have been forced to return to Earth in "ballistic descent mode" after their Soyuz rocket's booster malfunctioned shortly after launch, NASA announced Thursday.

Russian Federation has continued to rely on Soviet-designed booster rockets for launching commercial satellites, as well as crews and cargo to the International Space Station.

The pair were said to be in good condition after landing in Kazakhstan. "A state commission has been established to investigate the causes" of the failure, he added. Around the time of the separation of the four strap-on boosters-about 2 minutes into the flight-was when the issue occurred.

In November a year ago, 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. Rogozin said at the time that the launch of the 2.6 billion-rouble (29.5 million pounds) satellite had been due to an embarrassing programming error. But it is also unlikely any Soyuz missions will fly for a while now until both NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, have got to the bottom of what went wrong today.

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster carrying a new crew to the International Space Station blasts off at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 11, 2018. The crew has now touched down in Kazakhstan, where they are being attended by search and rescue personnel.

"The emergency rescue system worked, the vessel was able to land in Kazakhstan. the crew are alive", Roscosmos said in a tweet.

There were only two crew members aboard Soyuz MS-10, and a successful docking would have brought the station crew up to five. Ovchinin spent six months on the orbiting outpost in 2016.

The live feed was closely monitored by scientists at Roscosmos and NASA, where people were seen glued to the screens, hoping for the best.

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