Astronauts Survive Emergency Landing After Russian Rocket Launch Fails

Two astronauts kept ice cool as their rocket malfunctioned while travelling at thousands of miles an hour on the edge of space wile carrying them to the International Space Station, cockpit audio reveals. The Soyuz capsule returned to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal.

NASA and Roscosmos said search-and-rescue teams responded quickly to retrieve the crew members, whose spacecraft parachuted to Earth in an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.

The Russian space agency said on Friday it may bring forward the launch of the next mission to the ISS.

ISS operations integration manager Kenny Todd described the incident as a "major anomaly" and said he had "every confidence our Russian colleagues will figure out what's going on".

A Soyuz capsule attached to the station that the crew will use to ride back to Earth is designed for 200 days in space, meaning that their stay in orbit could only be extended briefly.

Collaboration between the USA and Russian space agencies has largely steered clear of geopolitical controversies, despite a standoff between Washington and Moscow that has continued since Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

United States astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely about 20 kilometers from Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

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Eric Berger ofArs Technica reports that Russian sources said the failure occurred about two minutes into flight, suggesting the rocket had a problem during second stage separation, but the exact nature of the complication is unknown.

"The boys will certainly fly their mission", Rogozin tweeted, posting a picture in which he sits with the two astronauts aboard a Moscow-bound plane.

"When asked about the accident, Trump said on Thursday that he was "not at all worried" that Americans had to rely on Russians to go to space".

The two astronauts aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) that failed mid-air, are likely to go into space in the spring of 2019, the media reported on Friday.

Both are scheduled to return to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, today; Hague is expected to fly home to Houston next week. The last failure of a manned Soyuz launch was in 1983 when a booster exploded. Despite its age, the Soyuz platform has been an extremely reliable mode of transportation to space.

An American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut had to make an emergency landing after a Soyuz rocket malfunctioned shortly after takeoff. Russian activities in Ukraine, charges of interfering in the USA presidential election of 2016 and the conflict in Syria are some of the main issues.

In August, the crew found a hole in a Russian Soyuz capsule docked to the orbiting space station.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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