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16:10, 11 October 2018

Emergency landing for astronauts as rocket fails

AKIPRESS.COM - A US and Russian astronaut have successfully made an emergency landing following a rocket failure on a mission to the International Space Station, Sky News reports.

Shortly after lift-off, the Soyuz rocket was reported to have suffered significant engine failures which has caused the mission to be aborted.

Despite the issue affecting the booster rocket, NASA's Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin are alive and have landed in Kazakhstan. Helicopters have been sent to locate them.

In a statement, NASA said: "The crew are in good condition and in contact. Search and rescue teams are en route to the landing location and we await further updates."

The ISS crew members currently in-orbit have been "notified of the launch contingency" a NASA spokesperson added.

Although the journey was expected to take six hours, it was only a few minutes after blast-off at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan that problems with the rocket became apparent.

The managing editor of NASA Spaceflight reports how an on board view of the launch showed the crew being shaken around during the launch, and says "the staging was clearly off-nominal".

Footage broadcast on Russian television shows a series of billowing smokey explosions occur as the booster rocket stage fails.


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