Astronauts Survive Emergency Landing After Russian Rocket Launch Fails

New Space Station Crew Launches Thursday Watch It Live

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.

NASA said that rescue teams have reached Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin and they have been taken out of the capsule and were in good condition. The astronauts were flown by helicopter to Dzhezkazgan and will later be taken to Baikonur and on to Star City, Russia's space training center outside Moscow. No longer sure they had a safe return vehicle, the crew was forced to remain in orbit until the remotely controlled Soyuz 34 could be sent to the station as a lifeboat.

Rescue workers reached the site of the emergency landing and evacuated Ovchinin and Hague.

"Teams are working with our Russian partners to obtain more information about the issue with the booster from today's launch", the agency said.

They were to dock at the International Space Station six hours later, but the booster suffered engine failure minutes after the launch.

NASA released a statement after a Russian booster rocket on a mission to the International Space Station failed after launch.

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Astronauts already on the International Space Station were preparing to welcome two new members to the satellite station, but have since changed their plans.

In August, however, the detection of a minute pressure leak on the International Space Station became the subject of intense media speculation in Russian Federation. This is standard procedure, as they obviously don't want to launch another rocket and risk encountering the same issue. Eleven minutes after liftoff, NASA tweeted that the "crew is returning to Earth in a ballistic descent mode", meaning the spacecraft was falling to Earth without any propulsion. Soviet cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov jettisoned and landed safely near the launch pad after the Soyuz explosion. The launch was to have been Hague's first space mission.

A Russian "state commission" has been formed to investigate the rocket failure. While not yet officially confirmed, that mission is nearly certainly not going to be launching as scheduled.

Thursday's incident is thought to be the first launch mishap for a Russian Soyuz booster since a Soyuz mission was aborted in 1983. "I strongly believe we're going to get the right answer to what caused the hole on the International Space Station and that together we'll be able to continue our strong collaboration", Bridenstine said, as reported by the Associated Press.

Rogozin was flying to the scene of the emergency landing, the space agency said.

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