NW Kansas native, NASA astronaut Nick Hague safe after emergency landing

Christopher Davidson
October 12, 2018

The launch failure marks an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space program, which has been dogged by a string of launch failures and other incidents in recent years. Russian Federation has launched an investigation and suspended all launches of manned spacecraft until the probe is complete.

NASA's Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexey Ovchinin are alive and in Kazakhstan.

NASA and Roscosmos said search-and-rescue teams were in contact with the crew and en route to the landing location.

The launch lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m. ET, but just six minutes after launch, Roscosmos reported that there was an issue with the booster, as reported by Loren Grush at The Verge.

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

Soyuz is one of the oldest rocket designs but also one of the safest.

The descent profile for a ballistic descent is significantly steeper than the trajectory taken by astronauts returning from the space station under normal conditions.

"That is a landing mode we've seen before", says the commentator.

"That was a short flight". Parachutes helped slow the returning capsule. Last month, the current ISS crew discovered a hole in the vessel that Russian Federation claims was drilled deliberately.

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.

Stefan Beransky, editor of the specialist Aerospatium magazine and author of a book on the Soyuz rocket, said now "the main problem is that there are two fewer people at the station".

American and Russian astronaut rescued after emergency landing following rocket booster malfunction
NASA tentatively plans to send its first crew to the ISS using a SpaceX craft instead of a Soyuz next April. Here's the latest on the failed space launch carrying two astronauts (all times local to Kazakhstan).

This is the first time a Soyuz craft has failed. Russia's Investigative Committee said it opened a criminal investigation into the matter.

"Officials are now examining the launch site, documents are being seized", it said in a statement.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have been told about the accident. The ascent proceeded normally until the separation of one of the rocket's booster stages, by which point the crew had already experienced microgravity. The mission would have been Hague's first space flight.

Ovchinin spent six months on the station in 2016. -Russian cooperation in space.

Both of the astronauts feel "good, as well as possible after experiencing such g-forces".

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, who watched the launch at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome along with his Russian counterpart, tweeted that Hague and Ovchinin are in good condition.

Russian officials said all manned space flight missions would be suspended until investigators figure out what went wrong.

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying crew to the ISS was aborted shortly after launch on Thursday, Oct. 11th when its booster failed.

"I really would be very surprised", he said.

All trips to the ISS and back are undertaken using Russian spacecraft, as has been the case since the Americans retired their shuttles in 2011.

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