Astronauts make emergency landing after escaping malfunctioning rocket

Cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague at the pre-launch ceremony in Kazakhstan

Cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague at the pre-launch ceremony in Kazakhstan

-Russian crew to the International Space Station failed during its ascent Thursday (Oct. 11), sending its crew capsule falling back toward Earth in a ballistic re-entry, NASA officials said. As rescue crews arrived, Hague and Ovchinin were reported in "good condition" and found out of the capsule.

USA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin were heading to the International Space Station when they had to make an emergency landing due to failure of the booster rockets.

Russia says it is suspending manned space launches pending a probe into a Russian booster rocket failure, raising questions about the fate of an upcoming launch that included a Canadian astronaut.

Footage showed the pair shaking around in the capsule, enduring gravitational forces of six to seven times more than is felt on Earth as they came down at a sharper-than-normal angle.

A booster failure during a Soyuz rocket launch forced the two crew members to abort their mission to the International Space Station and return to Earth in the first such emergency landing for the Russian-built spacecraft since 1975.

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The capsule landed about 20km (12 miles) east of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

It's not yet known what caused the malfunction, but the Russian space agency Roscosmos said it has launched an investigation into the incident. The situation looked quite similar to what Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague experienced Thursday. The mission would have been Hague's first space flight.

Earlier this week, Bridenstine emphasized that collaboration with Russia's Roscosmos remains important.

Hague and Ovchinin were to join the current three-person crew on the International Space Station to perform research experiments.

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

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Additionally, the Soyuz rocket launches cargo ships to the space station along with crewed missions like the one this morning. But the emergency ballistic landing was executed properly, and rescue teams pre-deployed along the Soyuz's flight path went into action quickly.

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

Russia, which relies on boosters designed during the Soviet Union, has a reputation for reliability with spacecraft.

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques had been scheduled to be on the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft on December 20. The hole cause a small oxygen leak while hooked up to the ISS. Three Americans, two Russians and one German are now aboard the station.

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