Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Astronauts escape malfunctioning Soyuz rocket

Rocket carrying space station crew fails in mid-air, crew forced to make emergency landing Astronauts escape malfunctioning Soyuz rocket
Sandra Phillips | 11 October, 2018, 13:15

IFAX reported that the two astronauts were alive and were expected to land in Kazakhstan.

Nasa rookie astronaut Nick Hague and second-time flier Aleksey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency landed without injuries, the Interfax news agency reported.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague 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.

The Kremlin confirmed the men had survived.

NASA had issued a worrying tweet on Thursday morning saying: 'There's been an issue with the booster from today's launch.

A Soyuz rocket takes off from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

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After the malfunction they were forced to return to Earth in a process known as a "ballistic re-entry", during which they experienced forces of up to 7G. NASA said search and rescue crews were en route to the projected landing site, expecting to arrive in about 90 minutes.

The rocket was carrying USA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin.

"Teams have been in contact with the crew".

Ovchinin spent six months on the station in 2016.

A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around a kilometre away said it had gone smoothly in its initial stages and that the failure of the booster rockets must have occurred at higher altitude.

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