US, Russian astronauts safe after emergency landing

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NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in Kazakhstan less than a day away from launching to the International Space 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.

Just two minutes after liftoff, the crew of the Soyuz MS-10 found themselves in a situation that every astronaut since the beginning of the manned space program has trained for, but very few have ever had to face: a failure during launch. The contingency procedure sends the spacecraft carrying the crew on a "sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA said.

The two astronauts landed about 12 miles east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan, where - an hour and a half later - rescue crews reported the two were in good condition.

Search and recovery teams had been predeployed to areas beneath the possible flight path. Helicopters were able to reach Haig and Ovchinin fairly quickly and extract them from the capsule.

In August, the International Space Station crew spotted a hole in a Russian Soyuz capsule docked to the orbiting outpost that caused a brief loss of air pressure before being patched.

Russian flight controllers described the forces experienced by Hague and Ovchinin as six to seven Gs due to the lack of velocity when the failure occurred.

This morning, the first launch since the possible sabotage was discovered, Russia's Soyuz booster saw its first in-flight failure in recent memory, and the first manned rocket-related emergency in decades.

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The International Space Station in orbit above Earth. NASA now depends on Russian Soyuz launch systems to ferry crew members to the station.

Had the launch gone smoothly, Ovchinin and Hague would have reached the space station later today. He didn't say if he suspected any of the station's crew. Russian Federation has launched an investigation and suspended all launches of manned spacecraft until the probe is complete.

Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin said he was forming a state commission to investigate what caused the failure.

"The crew landed", Dmitry Rogozin, director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said on Twitter.

Since its debut in the Soviet Union in 1966, the Soyuz has been the most-used launch vehicle in history.

Currently, the Russian's Soyuz rocket is the only system in the world that can carry human crew members up to the ISS, and return them safely home afterward. The launch was to have been Hague's first space mission.

The landing location was in Kazakhstan, where the rocket took off, according to Russia's space agency Roscosmos.

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