Astronauts make emergency landing after rocket malfunction

Rodiano Bonacci
Ottobre 11, 2018

The rocket was carrying a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut who had set off for a six-month mission at the International Space Station, on a relatively rare two-man launch.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 2:40 p.m. (0840 GMT; 4:40 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket.

The space agency tweeted: "There's been an issue with the booster from today's launch".

"The crew are in good condition and in contact".

The Soyuz began an immediate "ballistic" reentry at that time, and landed on Earth 20 kilometres outside of Jezkazgan, Kazakhstan less than an hour after launch.

Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague were on board but their lives "are not in danger", said Russian state TV.

Search-and-rescue teams were headed to the area where the capsule was expected to come down for what a NASA TV announcer said was likely to be a "hard landing".

A duo of astronauts from the US and Russian Federation has blasted off for a mission on the International Space Station. The current Soyuz on the ISS, Soyus MS-09, launched in June and has an orbital lifetime of about 200 days.

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