New Space Station Crew Launches Thursday

Gwen Vasquez
October 11, 2018

Booster rockets carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and a USA astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed mid-air, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing, Russian news agencies have reported.

According to local reports, the rocket has made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan, and the crew are alive.

NASA rookie Nick Hague and second-time flyer Aleksey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency were setting off for a six-month mission at the International Space Station Thursday, on a relatively rare two-man launch.

Earlier NASA warned the Soyuz capsule was returning to Earth "via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal".

The Kremlin confirmed the men had survived.

"We had an interruption on today's launch", a NASA commentator reported.

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Video footage from the launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome shows a large plume of smoke coming from the rocket at the moment it failed and footage from inside the capsule shows the two astronauts being violently shaken about.

But they got into trouble and were forced to make an emergency exit.

"The crewmembers of Expedition 57 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, humanity's only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory", NASA officials said in a statement. Search and rescue crews are getting ready to reach the expected landing site. Their Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft will arrive at the space station after a quick, 6-hour or "fast track" rendezvous rather than the traditional, two-day route.

Search and rescue teams were heading to the area to recover the crew.

Russian and USA space officials said the crew had to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan, and primed search and rescue crews ready to reach the expected landing site.

A U.S. astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut are alive after a failure during a mission to the International Space Station.

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