Soyuz crew reportedly alive after emergency landing

Katie Ramirez
October 11, 2018

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster carrying a new crew to the International Space Station blasts off at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 11, 2018.

Russian officials said all manned space flight missions would be suspended until investigators figure out what went wrong.

Russian Federation has promised to share all relevant information with the US.

The Soyuz MS-10 rocket had four boosters strapped to its central core.

Search and rescue teams were deployed to the landing site. They will be transported to the Gargarin Cosmonaut Center in Star City, Russia outside Moscow.

Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator who was in Kazakhstan to witness the launch, said in a statement that the failure had been caused by an anomaly with the rocket's booster. "But everything seems to be fine with the crew, we had good comms with them and they are OK".

NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, pledged a thorough investigation after the aborted launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.

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NASA astronaut Hague and Roscosmos' cosmnonaut Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The rocket was en route to the International Space Station (ISS). "Search and rescue crews are always pre-staged in the event that something like this does happen".

This morning, the first launch since the possible sabotage was discovered, Russia's Soyuz booster saw its first in-flight failure in recent memory, and the first manned rocket-related emergency in decades.

"We are in communication with the crew at this point and hearing they are in good condition", a NASA spokeswoman in Houston said on the space agency's live video feed of the launch. But the landing engines and parachute system are said to have done their job as normal, getting them back alive to Earth.

It comes weeks after a hole was discovered in the International Space Station amid talk from the Russian space authorities of deliberate sabotage.

There was no immediate word on whether the space station crew might need to extend its own six-month mission.

NASA coordinated a private event at Peabody's Coneburg Inn exclusively for Hague's extended family, sending astronaut Victor Glover to be a personal envoy to the family there.

Had the launch gone smoothly, Ovchinin and Hague would have reached the space station later today.

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