ISS: Space rocket declares emergency after launch - astronauts parachute out

Two astronauts make emergency landing after Russian rocket malfunctions during lift-off

Russian, US astronauts survive rocket failure in space station launch

Nasa astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos's Alexei Ovchinin were said to be in good condition after landing in Kazakhstan and have exited their capsule.

About two minutes after launching, the three-stage Soyuz booster rocket suffered an unspecified failure of its second stage.

"Teams are working with our Russian partners to obtain more information about the issue with the booster from today's launch", the United States agency said.

"The emergency rescue system worked, the vessel was able to land in Kazakhstan. the crew are alive", Roscosmos said in a tweet.

'The capsule is returning via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal.

It was the latest in a recent series of failures for the Russian space program, which is also used by the U.S.to carry its astronauts to the station.

One potential problem: the spacecraft that would let the ISS crew to return to Earth, which docked at the station in June, is equipped with batteries that lose power after about 200 days, NASA said.

Cosmonauts and astronauts are put through gruelling training, including exercises involving weightlessness and centrifugal force that prepare them to control their reactions in real-life scenarios. The launch was to have been Hague's first space mission. The occupants of the capsule located at the tip of the rocket were scheduled to undertake a six-hour journey to the International Space Station (ISS), where they would meet Expedition 57 crewmates Alexander Gerst, Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, and Sergey Valerievich.

The Soyuz capsule carrying Ovchinin and Hague separated from the malfunctioning Russian rocket and plunged 31 miles (50 km) down to the surface, with parachutes helping to slow its speed, NASA said.

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Russian news agencies reported that the crew had safely made an emergency landing and were in radio contact and that rescuers were en route to pick them up.

In this photo provided by Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, the Soyuz MS-10 space capsule lays in a field after an emergency landing near Dzhezkazgan, about 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on October 11, 2018.

Stefan Beransky, editor of the specialist Aerospatium magazine and author of a book on the Soyuz rocket, said now "the main problem is that there are two fewer people at the station".

The doomed booster left Earth behind at 4:40 AM ET today (Oct. 11), and everything seemed fine for the first several minutes.

The Canadian Space Agency said Thursday that it did not know whether the failed launch would affect Saint-Jacques' launch date.

If the Russian rocket isn't flying by then, the station may have to do without a crew for a while. NASA's own transportation system, the commercial crew vehicles under development by SpaceX and Boeing, have yet to take uncrewed test flights to the station, and those are unlikely to occur before early 2019.

Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said no further manned missions would take place "until we believe that the entire situation guarantees safety".

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine issued a statement saying he was "grateful that everyone is safe" and that "a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted". This was Ovchinin's second trip to the station, and Hague's first trip.

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