Astronauts safe after failed rocket launch, emergency bail-out

CU expert talks about close call in space

CU expert talks about close call in space

A booster failure during a Soyuz rocket launch forced the two crew members to abort their mission to the International Space Station and return to Earth in the first such emergency landing for the Russian-built spacecraft since 1975.

Footage from inside the Soyuz showed the two men being shaken around at the moment the failure occurred, with their arms and legs flailing. "Search and rescue teams are en route to the landing location and we await further updates", said NASA in a statement. Neither NASA or Roscosmos will be jumping to any conclusions, but Russian Federation has promised a full investigation and is forming a team to look into how and why the rocket failed as it did.

Most recently, a mysterious hole was detected on the Russian section of the ISS in August, and a Soyuz launch failure destroyed 18 satellites in November 2017.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he expected Russian President Vladimir Putin would be briefed on the incident. The space agency recently announced the nine astronauts that will crew the test flights and first missions of the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

Head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin (C) poses with astronauts Alexey Ovchinin of Russia and Nick Hague of the US, who survived the mid-air failure of a Russian rocket, on onboard a plane during a flight to Chkalovsky airport near Star City outside Moscow, Russia October 12, 2018.

Interfax quoted a source as saying the crash meant the three people now aboard the space station - a German, a Russian and an American - would be stuck there at least until January.

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In 2002, a Soyuz ship carrying a satellite crashed during launch in Russian Federation when a booster suffered an engine malfunction, killing one engineer on the ground.

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin said he had ordered a state commission to carry out an investigation into what went wrong. A "launch escape system" - a rocket mounted above the capsule - pulled the capsule away from the rocket seconds before an explosion. Hague and Ovchinin were set to be just the second two-man crew to travel to the space station in recent years. But soon after the landing, US and Russian officials said that rescue forces were in contact with the astronaut and cosmonaut. Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS.

The U.S. and other nations have depended on Russian Federation to carry astronauts to the ISS since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

Glitches found in Russia's Proton and Soyuz rockets in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws at the plant in Voronezh. Roscosmos sent more than 70 rocket engines back to production lines to replace faulty components.

The TASS news agency said that the ISS crew has enough supplies and that the failed launch will not affect operations.

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