Russian Soyuz spacecraft makes emergency landing after launch failure
The capsule of the Russian Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with one Russian cosmonaut and one U.S. astronaut on board made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan Thursday after the carrier rocket malfunctioned shortly after lift-off.
The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. Two astronauts from the U.S. 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. [Photo: AP/Dmitri Lovetsky]
The Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said that Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague had been delivered to the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan and were screened before departure.
Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin decided to transport the astronauts to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, it said.
A team of Russian resuscitation physicians arrived by helicopter at the spaceship's landing site and made a preliminary examination of the astronauts, the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia said.
"The conditions of both astronauts are good. The pulse and pressure are normal and no medical treatment is needed," said the agency.
The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:40 a.m. Moscow time (0840 GMT) to the International Space Station (ISS).
Minutes after the takeoff there was an anomaly with the booster and the launch was aborted, resulting in a ballistic landing of the spacecraft, the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said.
Search and rescue teams were deployed to the landing site, who took the astronauts out of the capsule and delivered them to Dzhezkazgan.
According to NASA, the astronauts will be later moved to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center outside Moscow.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and the NASA team are carefully monitoring the situation together with Roscosmos. It said a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident will be conducted.
Roscosmos said a state commission was formed on Rogozin's order for more investigation.
Russia will suspend launches of manned spacecraft until the investigation is completed, said Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, who is in charge of the country's space program.
The launch failure of the Soyuz MS-10 came after a minor air leak was detected on Aug. 30 on the Soyuz MS-09 spaceship that is docked to the ISS. Astronauts on board patched up the leak on the next day.
A commission of Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, the manufacturer of the spacecraft, could not establish the cause of the leak and Roscosmos formed another commission for further investigation.
Its conclusions have not been made public so far and the crew of the aborted mission reportedly planned to check the damaged Soyuz MS-09.
Russia's Soyuz spacecraft is currently the only vehicle for spaceflights between the ISS and the Earth.