US, Russian astronauts safe after emergency landing
12 October, 2018, 00:22 | Author: Kelly Sanders
- NASA says an astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut are in good condition after an emergency landing following a booster rocket failure minutes after the launch.
The crew contained American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin.
Images show the Soyuz-FG rocket booster lifting the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft high into the sky before Thursday's mission was abandoned.
Search and rescue teams were scrambled to the touchdown location as NASA revealed the descent meant the Russian-built Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft had to take "a sharper angle of landing compared to normal". Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometres northeast of Baikonur.
"The boys have landed", Mission Control assured the International Space Station crew. But the emergency ballistic landing was executed properly, and rescue teams pre-deployed along the Soyuz's flight path went into action quickly.
In 1975, a crewed Soyuz rocket suffered an in-flight failure, causing an abort 295 sec. after launch.
Former military pilots Ovchinin and Hague had been set to join the ESA's Gerst, NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos following a six-hour flight.
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International groups of astronauts often accompany each other to the International Space Station in joint launches. Ovchinin spent six months on the International Space Station in 2016.
Hague and Ovchinin only reached a bit over 6Gs, though.
But the three - a German, a Russian and an American - might have to stay on the space station into next year due the crash, Interfax quoted a source as saying.
This failure comes as America is working to wean itself off of its Russian rocket dependency. The launch was to have been Hague's first space mission.
ABC Newsreported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov announced that all manned launches will be suspended until the investigation is complete and the cause of the rocket's failure can be pin-pointed.
Since its debut in the Soviet Union in 1966, the Soyuz has been the most-used launch vehicle in history. While not yet officially confirmed, that mission is nearly certainly not going to be launching as scheduled. The probe would seek to determine whether safety regulations had been violated during construction, leading to massive damage, the Russian Investigative Committee said in a statement. Officials said they would suspend manned launches in the light of the new accident. The launch escape tower activated two seconds before the rocket below the crew exploded, ripping the Soyuz spacecraft away from the inferno as it engulfed the launch pad.
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