Russia Hopes US Will Be Understanding About Soyuz Incident

Russia Hopes US Will Be Understanding About Soyuz Incident

Russia Hopes US Will Be Understanding About Soyuz Incident

With Thursday's failed launch, just three people remain on the station, an American astronaut, Serena Auñón-Chancellor, the German Commander Alexander Gerst, and Russian Sergey Prokopyev.

Astronauts on board a Soyuz rocket heading to the International Space Station survived an emergency landing following a booster failure, a Russian space official said Thursday.

It was to be Hague's first flight to the station, launching at 3:40 a.m. Thursday from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.

They were to dock at the orbiting outpost six hours later, but the booster suffered a failure minutes after the launch. While the crew endured higher than normal G-force, Russian and USA space officials say they are in good condition. "Search and rescue teams are heading towards the expected touchdown location of the spacecraft and crew", tweeted NASA.

American Nick Hague, 43, and Russian Aleksey Ovchinin, 47, were the two astronauts bound for the International Space Station before having to abort the mission.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who has been visiting Russian Federation and Kazakhstan in conjunction with today's launch, said he was "grateful that everyone is safe". "Search and rescue crews are always pre-staged in the event something like this does happen", Dean added. The two men returned to earth safely and a picture released by the Russian space agency Roscosmos showed them having their blood pressure taken in a Kazakh city near their landing site. "The emergency rescue systems of the MS-Soyuz spacecraft worked smoothly".

The launch failure marks an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space program, which has been dogged by a string of other incidents.

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The descent profile for a ballistic descent is significantly steeper than the trajectory taken by astronauts returning from the space station under normal conditions.

Oleg Orlov, the head of the Institute for Medical and Biological Problems, Russia's top space medicine research center, said on Russian television astronauts endured six Gs during the sharp ballistic descent.

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.

A Russian space industry source was cited by the Interfax news agency as saying that there was enough food onboard the ISS to last until April of next year.

Hague, who only joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013, was on his first space mission.

It is not clear how long the Soyuz vehicle will be grounded, or how long the current crew can remain in orbit.

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