Monday, 22 October, 2018

U.S., Russian Space Crew Heading Back To Earth After Booster Failure

Cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague at the pre-launch ceremony in Kazakhstan Cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague at the pre-launch ceremony in Kazakhstan
Kristen Harrington | 11 October, 2018, 12:47

NASA says that two astronauts from the US and Russian Federation are in good condition after an emergency landing following booster rocket failure minutes after the launch.

Hague and Ovchinin will open the hatch to their spacecraft at 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT), when they will be greeted by their three Expedition 57 crewmates: NASA astronaut Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev.

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Russian and U.S. space officials said the crew had to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan, and primed search and rescue crews ready to reach the expected landing site.

Four helicopters have taken off from Kazakh bases to search for the Soyuz crew, according to RIA news agency citing local officials.

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Russian and US space officials said that the crew is heading for an emergency landing in Kazakhstan at an unspecified time. "Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members", NASA said in a statement.

A Soyuz rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m.

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It was the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013. Hague and Ovchinin will spend about six months living and working aboard the orbiting lab.

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