U.S., Russian Astronauts Make Emergency Landing After Failed Space Launch

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Two astronauts from the US and Russia are making an emergency landing after a Russian booster rocket carrying them into orbit to the International Space Station has failed after launch.

US and Russian officials said the crew was heading for an emergency landing in Kazakhstan at an unspecified time.

"The crew are in good condition and in contact".

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, a back-up crew member, is part of the crew set for the next scheduled-Russian Soyuz launch in December.

The capsule went into "ballistic descent mode" after the problem occurred, she said.

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The space agency later tweeted that search and rescue teams were headed to site where the astronauts were expected to land.

It said there was an issue with "the booster from today's launch".

NASA's Nick Hague, flying for the first time, and Aleksey Ovchinin of Roscosmos blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan just before 10am.

The pair were due to monitor a series of carefully planned rocket firings during a six-hour rendezvous with the lab complex, moving in for an automated linkup at the upper Poisk module. "They are conducting an emergency landing".

Ovchinin spent six months on the station in 2016.

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