US, Russian astronauts blast off to space station


The space agency said American Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin weren't injured and crews reached them shortly after the booster malfunctioned at an undisclosed altitude 123 seconds into the launch sequence.

Their arms and legs flail while being shaken around at he moment the failure occurred.

The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

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

Jim Bridenstine, NASA's administrator who was in Kazakhstan to witness the launch, said in a statement that the failure had been caused by an anomaly with the rocket's booster.

Thursday's incident is thought to be the first launch mishap for a Russian Soyuz booster since a Soyuz mission was aborted in 1983. Today's reentry was on a much sharper angle resulting in much higher G forces.

The crew of the MS-10 landed roughly 19km east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan and was met by a search and recovery team that's always prepared on the ground for a situation precisely like this.

David Saint-Jacques is scheduled to co-pilot the capsule December 20 and become the first Canadian at the orbiter since now-retired astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to Earth in 2013.

Family members wore custom-made "Team Hague" jackets, with patches sewn on representing NASA, the International Space Station, and the official mission that took place Thursday.

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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. It was Hague's first rocket launch.

Rockets use boosters to provide the thrust they need to launch from Earth and breech the atmosphere.

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying astronaut Nick Hague of the USA and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russian Federation blasted off from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday - before the mission was aborted.

Photographs released by Roscosmos after the rescue showed the two men smiling and relaxing on sofas at a town near their landing site as they underwent medical tests.

The launch failure follows close on the heels of another Soyuz issue, in which a hole was discovered August 29 on the MS-09 spacecraft that delivered the most recent crew to the space station. He added that a "thorough investigation" will be conducted. This was Ovchinin's second trip to the station, and Hague's first trip.

NASA officials now must decide how or whether to maintain a USA presence on the $100 billion orbital research laboratory.

"The boys have landed", Mission Control assured the crew consisting of one American, one German and one Russian. The Soyuz MS-09 capsule which delivered them remains docked to the station and can be used to return that crew home at least through the end of the year.

Upon arrival, the two new crew members were scheduled to be welcomed by Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, the expedition's commander, as well as Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos.