Russian, US astronauts back safely after aborted flight to space station
11 October 2018
US Astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are safely back after the spacecraft carrying them on a mission to International Space Station (ISS) landed in Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, after a Soyuz booster failure forced an emergency landing, NASA said.
They are in good condition following their safe landing, NASA stated.
Booster rockets carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and a US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed mid-air, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
An earlier NASA release said the crew was safe and was making an emergency landing in Kazakhstan where the unsuccessful launch took place.
"The crew is returning to Earth in a ballistic descent mode," wrote NASA, noting that the descent would take place at a steeper angle than usual, but that rescue crews were en route to the expected scene of the landing.
The crew remains in good condition and in touch with ground rescue teams, according to NASA.
International groups of astronauts often accompany each other to the International Space Station in joint launches.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has shared the following statement on Twitter @JimBridenstine.
I’m grateful that everyone is safe. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted, he said.
The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft, carrying American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:40 am EDT (2:40 pm in Baikonur). Shortly after launch, there was an anomaly with the booster and the launch ascent was aborted, resulting in a ballistic landing of the spacecraft, NASA stated in its release.
Search and rescue teams were deployed to the landing site. Hague and Ovchinin are out of the capsule and are reported to be in good condition. They will be transported to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia outside of Moscow.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the NASA team are monitoring the situation carefully. NASA is working closely with Roscosmos to ensure the safe return of the crew. Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for NASA. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted, it stated.