Russian Space Crew Makes Emergency Landing

It is hoped that by studying the rocket's remains will allow engineers to determine the exact cause of Thursday's failure.

Reuters Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin (R) and US astronaut Nick Hague (L) disembark from a plane, after the Soyuz spacecraft made an emergency landing following a failure of its booster rockets, as they arrive at Baikonur airport, Kazakhstan, Oct. 11, 2018. Russian space agency Roscosmos has released photographs of both astronauts being checked over after their abrupt landing.

A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, at 11:40 a.m. Moscow time.

It's been a rough few months for space travel, as today's failure follows another recent incident aboard the International Space Station.

Paulo Lozano, an MIT professor of aeronautics and astronautics and director of the university's Space Propulsion Laboratory, said the capsule "went down like a free fall". At that moment the two astronauts were experiencing weightlessness, when in an ordinary launch they should still have been pinned to the back of their seats by the force of the rocket surging upwards at 4,970mph.

Thursday's accident was the first serious launch problem experienced by a manned Soyuz space mission since 1983, when a crew narrowly escaped before a launch pad explosion.


The pair landed about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan. The crew was quickly recovered and is in good condition.

"I just want to say how grateful we are as a country, the United States, for our Russian partners", he said. The first meeting of the commission took place within hours after the mishap resulted in drawing a conclusion that a malfunction during the strap-on booster separation process was responsible for the failure. The image shows them sitting on a couch, hooked up to blood pressure monitors and oxygen monitors. NASA is working closely with Roscosmos to ensure the safe return of the crew. Eleven minutes after liftoff, NASA tweeted that the "crew is returning to Earth in a ballistic descent mode", meaning the spacecraft was falling to Earth without any propulsion.

ISS operations integration manager Kenny Todd described the incident as a "major anomaly" and said he had "every confidence our Russian colleagues will figure out what's going on". That 0.08-inch (2-millimeter) hole in the orbital module of the Soyuz vehicle created a small air leak on the space station that was detected by flight controllers on the ground and ultimately repaired by astronauts and cosmonauts on the space station.

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

USA and Russian space officials said the astronauts were in good condition after enduring gravitational force that was six-to-seven times more than is felt on Earth.


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