Astronauts make emergency landing after Soyuz rocket failure

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague right and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin crew members of the mission to the International Space Station wave as they board the rocket prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome Kazakhs

Hadfield noted that the launch failure should not be seen as an indictment of the Soyuz rockets, calling mechanical failure part and parcel of space travel.

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

American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are "resting comfortably" after making an emergency landing of their launch capsule. The capsule landed about 20 kilometres east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. That's a problem, because much of the world relies on Russian rockets to get both cargo and people into space. He added that the president is receiving regular updates about the situation.

Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA, left, is welcomed by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine after Hague landed at the Krayniy Airport with Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, after an emergency landing following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station. William Harwood of CBS reports that the ISS crew was scheduled to return on December 13, though they have the ability to stay in orbit longer if required. Ovchinin and Hague were both traveling to the ISS to join the three astronauts now aboard - Gerst, NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor, and Roscosmos' Sergey Prokopyev.

During a news conference on Thursday, International Space Station Operations Integration Manager Kenny Todd said that should the crew need to leave the station before a replacement crew could be sent up, the station could be piloted remotely.

Two astronauts made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after the failure of Soyuz rocket.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos tweeted that it's creating a formal commission to investigate the rocket failure.

Earlier this week, Bridenstine emphasized that collaboration with Russia's Roscosmos remains important. Last year, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin shared a ride to ISS.

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For years, since NASA's final shuttle mission launched in 2011, the USA has relied on Russian rockets to send astronauts to the International Space Station, which is largely funded by America taxpayer dollars.

In coming years, American aerospace companies SpaceX, with its Dragon 2, and Boeing, with its Starliner, are expected to return to space.

It was the first such accident for Russia's manned program in over three decades, although there also have been launch failures in recent years involving unmanned vehicles.

Gerst tweeted his relief that the two astronauts were safe, saying the day's events "showed again what an awesome vehicle the Soyuz is, to be able to save the crew from such a failure".

Lozano agrees. "Soyuz rockets are relatively low in risk and the safety record is astounding", he said.

Glitches found in Russia's Proton and Soyuz rockets in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws at the plant in Voronezh. In August, a hole appeared in a Soyuz capsule already docked to the ISS that caused a brief loss of air pressure and had to be patched.

Roscosmos chief Rogozin on Friday posted a picture on Twitter of himself seated next to the two astronauts involved in Thursday's accident, saying they had arrived in Moscow. The crew is now being brought to Moscow.

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