Rocket carrying space station crew fails in mid air, crew safe


American astronaut Nick Hague (right) and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin speak before taking off aboard a Soyuz MS-10 capsule to the International Space Station, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on October 11, 2018. While the crew endured higher than normal G-force, Russian and USA space officials say they are in good condition.

The launch took place at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:40 pm.

The astronauts were to dock at the International Space Station six hours after the launch and join an American, a Russian and a German now aboard the station.

With the failure of this launch, there are far-reaching consequences for the world's human space programs, and for those astronauts and cosmonauts now on board the International Space Station.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the most important thing was that the two men were alive.

A recording of communications between the space station and NASA stated that Hague and Ovchinin had experienced 6.7 G's - about the same as Apollo astronauts felt during re-entry, according to Air & Space magazine.

The Russian Soyuz rocket has malfunctioned on lift-off has landed safely in Kazahstan, Russian media report.

"That means the crew will not be going to the International Space Station today".

For now, the United States relies on Moscow to carry its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) which was launched 20 years ago.

Dmitry Rogozin, a firebrand nationalist politician who this year was appointed by Putin to head Roscosmos, said a "thorough investigation" was needed after the failed launch.

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En el trayecto al cementerio, varios vecinos bajaron de edificios con banderas y carteles para dar el pésame a los familiares. Al velorio asistieron el nuncio apostólico, Aldo Giordano, y el embajador de Francia, Romain Nadal.

US and Russian space officials said the astronauts are in good condition after Thursday's aborted launch.

Nasa said the capsule, which later deployed parachutes, took 34 minutes to reach the ground on the Kazakhstan steppe, hundreds of kilometres north-east of the Baikanour cosmodrome launch site.

Gerst took the opportunity to point out that the Soyuz spacecraft is "an unbelievable vehicle", as it was able to save the crew after its booster failure.

US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin parachuted to the ground safely in their capsule after a booster on the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft failed, NASA and Russia's space agency said.

The abort mode was not improvised, and is a standing contingency for crewed missions to the ISS.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who watched the launch at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome along with his Russian counterpart, tweeted that Hague and Ovchinin are in good condition.

Astronauts already on the International Space Station were preparing to welcome two new members to the satellite station, but have since changed their plans.

"The boys have landed", Mission Control assured the crew consisting of one American, one German and one Russian.

Thursday's aborted mission is another setback for Russia's space program.

"What we usually do is one group comes up and another group comes down just as part of our regular crew rotation", NASA spokeswoman Kathryn Hambleton said. No longer sure they had a safe return vehicle, the crew was forced to remain in orbit until the remotely controlled Soyuz 34 could be sent to the station as a lifeboat.