U.S., Russian Space Crew Heading Back To Earth After Booster Failure

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket.

The Russian Soyuz rocket carrying two crewmembers suffered a booster malfunction during launch in Kazakhstan.

"The crew are in good condition and in contact". The launch appeared to be normal until around first stage separation, when the crew reported a "failure" with the booster and feeling weightlessness.

The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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NASA Television reported that the spacecraft was in a ballistic descent after apparently separating from the Soyuz rocket, making a return to Earth rather than heading to the International Space Station.

The Russia Soyuz rocket was carrying a Russian and U.S. astronaut on board.

A subsequent statement said: "The Soyuz capsule has landed back on Earth carrying two crew members".

"Search and rescue teams are en route to the landing location and we await further updates". Hague and Ovchinin will spend about six months living and working aboard the orbiting lab. It is not clear at this time if that flight will be delayed as a result of the Soyuz MS-10 failure Thursday.

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