Astronauts return to Russian Federation after failed space launch

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were forced to make an emergency landing shortly after their mission launched yesterday.

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 capsule jettisoned from the booster and went into a ballistic descent, landing at a sharper than normal angle.

"Search and rescue teams are in contact with the crew and are en route to the landing location", NASA said.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Space Agency said Thursday it has not received any information about Saint-Jacques' mission and doesn't yet know what the impact will be on his impending launch. NASA also said in a statement that "NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the NASA team are monitoring the situation carefully", and that a "thorough investigation" will be conducted.

However, their Soyuz rocket failed two minutes after the launch, triggering an emergency that sent their capsule into a steep, harrowing fall back to Earth. The pair were due to join the three-person Expedition 57 crew already aboard the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin landed in the steppes of Kazakhstan Thursday following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station.

"Glad our friends are fine", Mr Gerst, a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany, tweeted from orbit.

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Roscosmos has launched an inquiry into the accident and all Russian manned launches have been suspended, the report said. NASA's Bridenstine said Hague, the USA astronaut, had told him he wanted to fly again and that NASA had huge confidence in him but that he didn't know when he might fly.

"We can both do more in space together than we can do alone", he said, adding his relationship with Russian space agency chief Rogozin was "very solid". But NASA's Bridenstine voiced hope that the problem that aborted the launch could be solved quickly and the next Soyuz launch may take place in December.

The crew will spend a day in hospital in Baikonur for medical checks, Interfax quoted an unnamed source as saying.

Ovchinin and Hague have returned to the Star City training centre outside Moscow where they will be under medical observation for two days.

Thursday's aborted launch took place in the presence of NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine who was visiting Russian Federation and Baikonur this week.

Roscosmos had earlier chose to temporarily ground its Soyuz rocket launches until experts can properly assess the situation. The Soyuz MS-09 capsule which delivered them remains docked to the station and can be used to return that crew home at least through the end of the year.

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