US, Russian astronauts blast off to space station

A Soyuz rocket booster failed during the launch of a capsule carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin Thursday, forcing officials to abort their mission.

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. Hague and Ovchinin are out of the capsule and are reported to be in good condition.

What happens next: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted a statement in which he confirmed that the crew was safe and that NASA was monitoring the situation carefully.

A state commission set up by Roscosmos to investigate the cause of the incidence is already hard at work assessing telemetry.

The rare failed launch of the Soyuz rocket - the workhorse of manned spaceflight today - is the latest and most grave problem to beset U.S.

"The crew is returning to Earth in a ballistic descent mode".

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Rescue crews were quick to reach the site where Hague and Ovchinin came down, Russian news agencies said.

Two astronauts made an emergency landing after their Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station malfunctioned during lift-off on Thursday.

Search and rescue teams were heading to the area to recover the crew. "Search and rescue crews are always pre-staged in the event that something like this does happen".

The rocket is put into an emergency landing procedure in which the main module - holding all cargo and any astronauts on board - separates from the rocket early. Until the Soyuz MS-10 flight, that was the only time in history that a launch escape system had been used during a crewed flight. Last month, an oxygen leak was found in the International Space Station that Russia's space chief said was caused deliberately.

Neither man needed medical treatment and NASA TV said both were fine.

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