Astronauts Make Emergency Landing After Booster Failed
Astronauts Make Emergency Landing After Booster Failed
12 October, 2018, 00:18
NASA Astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are on their way back to Earth after the rocket they were traveling in experienced a booster engine failure shortly after launch on Thursday.
NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were aboard the spacecraft when it launched at 4:40 a.m. EDT on a mission to the station.
The capsule made a "ballistic landing" and rescue teams recovered the pair, who are reportedly in "good condition", NASA says.
"The boys have landed", Mission Control assured the International Space Station crew.
Search and rescue forces were scrambled from Baikonur Cosmodrome to the expected landing site, a journey of roughly one and a half hours. This was Ovchinin's second trip to the station, and Hague's first trip.
Russian Federation has continued to rely on Soviet-designed booster rockets to launching commercial satellites, as well as crews and cargo to the International Space Station.
Oleg Orlov, the head of the Institute for Medical and Biological Problems, Russia's top space medicine research center, said in televised remarks that the astronauts endured six Gs during the sharp ballistic descent. "That means the crew will not be going to the International Space Station today".
They later clarified that the issue caused the boosters to switch off.
Speaking with reporters in Moscow before Thursday's launch, Bridenstine said that Russian-American cooperation in space remained strong, amid an investigation into the cause of the leak.
The Canadian Space Agency said Thursday that it did not know whether the failed launch would affect Saint-Jacques' launch date. With Thursday's failed launch, just three people remain on the station, an American astronaut, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, the German Commander Alexander Gerst, and Russian Sergey Prokopyev.
Russia's Investigative Committee said a criminal probe would seek to determine whether safety regulations had been violated during construction, causing major damage. Hague is an Air Force Colonel who completed his astronaut training in 2015.
A Russian "state commission" has been formed to investigate the rocket failure.
Since its debut in the Soviet Union in 1966, the Soyuz has been the most-used launch vehicle in history. There was an issue with the booster, according to NASA, forcing the crew to separate from the rocket and fall back to Earth.
Four helicopters have taken off from Kazakh bases to search for the Soyuz crew, according to RIA news agency citing local officials.
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