U.S., Russian crew in Russian space centre after failed launch

Clay Curtis
October 12, 2018

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

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were forced to make an emergency landing shortly after their mission launched yesterday.

Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague had blasted off on a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster which carries the Soyuz MS-10 capsule is pictured on its way to the International Space Station.

Footage then cuts from the crew to an animation, while the rocket returns to Earth in a ballistic descent mode.

Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague are likely to go into space in the spring after their flight was suddenly aborted, the head of the Russian space agency said Friday.

The pair landed about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

The current space station crew of an American, a Russian and a German was scheduled to return to Earth in December after a six-month mission, and it wasn't immediately clear if their stint in orbit might need to be extended.

NASA said it was dusting off plans which would allow it to operate the space station without a crew.

At this moment, there are no Soyuz spacecraft berthed at the orbiting science station.

In 1975, the failure of a Soyuz upper stage sent Vasily Lazarev and Oleg Makarov into a fiery fall to Earth from an altitude of 190 kilometers, subjecting them to enormous gravity loads that caused them to black out and temporarily lose eyesight.

As a result, Russian Federation has launched a criminal investigation into the rocket failure.

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Now, American companies SpaceX and Boeing are working to launch their first crewed missions to space.

NASA retired its space shuttle fleet in 2011 and ever since has relied on Russian Federation to take American astronauts to and from the space station.

Russian space officials said Hague and Rogozin will spend a couple of days at Star City, Russia's main space training centre outside Moscow, undergoing routine medical checks.

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.

Typical crewed launches feature three passengers.

The contract with the Russians ends in late 2019, and the U.S. space agency has deals with two American companies, Boeing and SpaceX, to step in. Both men appear understandably disappointed in the wake of what they just experienced, and the realization that they won't be headed to the International Space Station any time soon.

A source at the Baikonur space center told Sputnik on Thursday that all Russian manned launches had been suspended after the Soyuz accident.

UPDATE 2: the two astronauts have been recovered and they are safe.

Nasa has been paying for seats on Soyuz rockets to ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station since the Space Shuttle programme ended in 2011.

"There was an issue with the booster from today's launch".

Glitches found in Russia's Proton and Soyuz rockets in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws at the plant in Voronezh.

Todd did say that commercial activity related to the space station would require having a human crew on board, however.

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