Emergency landing following Soyuz launch failure

12 October, 2018, 13:03 | Author: Wade Massey

The Soyuz rocket and its Soyuz MS-10 space capsule lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at about 4:47 a.m. EDT (0847 GMT) with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin aboard.

"I really would be very surprised", he said. Russian space agency Roscosmos confirmed several minutes later that Hague and Ovchinin had been forced to abort the launch and escape the failing booster in the Soyuz capsule. But the incident highlights recent tensions that have surfaced in a long-running collaboration in space between the United States and Russian Federation.

Eastern time aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

That would, in theory, push the time limit of crew's return to Earth to early January 2019, which is the sole limiting factor, said Dr John Logsdon, head of the Space Policy Institute at The George Washington University. Russian activities in Ukraine, charges of interfering in the US presidential election of 2016 and the conflict in Syria are some of the main issues.

It comes weeks after a hole was discovered in the International Space Station amid talk from the Russian space authorities of deliberate sabotage.

Russian space officials have said they are investigating whether a hole that caused an oxygen leak on the ISS was drilled deliberately by astronauts.

NASA, however, is planning to launch manned missions from USA soil in the coming years.

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US astronaut Nick Hague, right and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), speak prior to the launch of Soyuz MS-10 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

The atmosphere in the bar was jovial - essentially a reunion for the family, who had drove and flown in from across the country to watch their relative launch into space.

Leclerc said the plan remains "to launch David Saint-Jacques as soon as possible to the space station: conducting experiments, doing science and being the figurehead of the human space flight program for Canada". Search and rescue teams were immediately scrambled to recover the crew and paratroopers were dropped from a plane to reach the site and help the rescue effort. Those questions not only include what happened to make the Soyuz launch fail, but how NASA, Roscosmos, and the ESA will need to change the ISS schedule to accommodate today's failure. Today it has been shown again how great the Soyuz is: despite a misstart, the crew was safely brought back to Earth. Teams are working to obtain additional information from our Russian partners.

"The Soyuz capsule is returning to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA said in a brief statement via Twitter.

"Rescue forces are in communication with Nick Hague and Alexei Ovchinin and we are hearing that they are in good condition", NASA TV said.

NASA later tweeted images of the two men embracing their families back in Baikonur.

It's the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013. Ovchinin and Hague were both traveling to the ISS to join the three astronauts now aboard - Gerst, NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor, and Roscosmos' Sergey Prokopyev.

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