Russian Space Crew Makes Emergency Landing

For years, since NASA's final shuttle mission launched in 2011, the US has relied on Russian rockets to send astronauts to the International Space Station, which is largely funded by America taxpayer dollars.

The capsule made a "ballistic landing" and rescue teams recovered the pair, who are reportedly in "good condition", NASA says.

The launch appeared to be going smoothly, but some 90 seconds into the flight, the USA space agency Nasa reported a problem with the booster rocket between the first and second stages separating.

The incident came as the rocket was travelling about 7,563km/h, just 119 seconds into the voyage, according to NASA.

Nasa said the capsule, which later deployed parachutes, took 34 minutes to reach the ground on the Kazakhstan steppe, hundreds of kilometres north-east of the Baikanour cosmodrome launch site. But if it survives the trip into space, it could be remotely guided to the ISS, and serve as the crew's new return vehicle.

"Scary, scary, scary - not what we wanted", one family member said. The crew module was separated from the failed booster and was forced to initiate an emergency landing. In this instance, Russian Federation said the hole may have been drilled "deliberately".

The European Space Agency, whose astronaut Alexander Gerst is on the ISS, said in a statement that "the aborted launch will have influence on the planning for the near future". This looked like another uneventful Soyuz launch for the first several minutes, but then the live feed showed increasingly violent shaking inside the cabin (about 2:20 in the video below).

All things considered, the Soyuz has proven itself reliable historically and its launch escape system - at various stages of flight - has proven effective three times now.

Roscosmos is forming a state commission to investigate the incident, Dean said.

"Officials are now examining the launch site, documents are being seized", it said in a statement. NASA TV will be back on the air at 10 a.m. four orbits later as the Soyuz spacecraft approaches the station for docking. If the booster fails again, at worst they will have only lost the hardware and no human life.

The next re-supply run was meant to happen on October 31, the source was quoted as saying, but that was now in doubt since the Progress supply ship was propelled by the same kind of rocket used in Thursday's incident.

Hague was originally scheduled to participate in spacewalks in the coming weeks to replace batteries on the outside of the space station.

After their rescue, Hague and Ovchinin were set to be airlifted to a space flight training center outside of Moscow. "I felt my face getting pulled back".

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