Russia hopes USA will be understanding about 'Soyuz' incident - Ifax

Soyuz-FG rocket booster blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague of the ISS Expedition 57/58 prime crew aboard to the International Space Station (IS

Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague sped back to Earth when the Soyuz rocket failed shortly after launching from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

"Search and rescue teams are in contact with the crew and are en route to the landing location", NASA said. Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague of Hoxie, Kansas and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 2:40 p.m. (0840 GMT; 4:40 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket. This was his first trip to the International Space Station. The spacecraft executed an emergency ballistic landing with a sharp angle of descent.

Though it's hard to make out what's going on in the image, it seems that it was taken just moments after the crew capsule detached from the spacecraft and started heading back toward Earth. The astronauts immediately reported a problem because they were feeling weightlessness instead of the expected g-force acceleration that should have pushed them back in their seats. NASA has Soyuz seats booked until November 2019, after which it hopes to use private USA companies such as SpaceX and Boeing to ferry its astronauts up and down.

The pair landed about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

Search and rescue teams from Russian Federation arrived as soon as the spacecraft touched ground to assist the astronauts. He said that a state commission has already been established to look into what happened. Dean later confirmed the anomaly during live commentary. The leak was quickly repaired, but Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin suggested that the leak was caused by something other than an accident or production defect.

Two astronauts made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after the failure of Soyuz rocket.




"I fully anticipate that we will fly again on a Soyuz rocket, and I have no reason to believe at this point that it will not be on schedule", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters.

The Expedition 57 crew members are working on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, according to NASA.

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, Expedition 55 backup crew members Nick Hague of NASA (left) and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos (right) pose for pictures during a day of qualification exams February 20, 2018.

Soyuz flights are suspended while the Russian space agency Roscosmos investigates the cause of the failure.

That's a diplomatic way to say the Russian booster failed, forcing the crew to perform a risky launch abort.

While there is another Soyuz capsule docked at the station, Hadfield said using it to send the current crew home would not be under consideration.

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