NASA astronaut, Russian cosmonaut make emergency landing on earth

CU expert talks about close call in space

The Soyuz MS-10, a Russian spacecraft, was transporting NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, when it launched from Kazakhstan.

Something went wrong during the separation of the booster and the capsule containing the two crew members started tumbling back down to earth, violently shaking the men.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "Thank God the crew is alive" after they had landed safely. "A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted", Bridenstine said in a statement.

Hague, 43, and Ovchinin, 47, lifted off as scheduled at 2:40 p.m. (4:40 a.m. EDT) from Baikonur.

They were set to join the crew of Alexander Gerst, the station's first-ever German commander, as well as USA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev. "Teams are working with our Russian partners to obtain more information about the issue with the booster from today's launch", the U.S. agency said.

Russian agency Interfax said there was an "emergency shutdown of second-stage engines" when the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft launched.

Once returned to Baikonur, they were greeted by family and respective space administration officials, before being taken to the local hospital for precautionary medical checks.

NASA mothballed the Space Shuttle program in 2011, and since then has been paying Russian Federation tens of millions of dollars to send their astronauts to the ISS.

During the descent, the astronauts were subjected to high G-forces. But these failures have been hard learning experiences for the company, which plans to launch its first crewed capsule in 2019.

"The crew has landed".

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That's according to Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos. Two spacewalks planned for later this month were off indefinitely. Hague was supposed to be one of the spacewalkers. Russia launches criminal probe over failed rocket launch Russian investigators said they had opened a criminal probe into the failed rocket launch that caused the two-man crew to make an emergency landing.

A USA astronaut and his Russian crewmate arrived Friday at the Russian space centre for medical checks following a failed launch that led to an emergency landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan.

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.

The taxi service to the orbiting International Space Station is taking no passengers until further notice.

However, in the meantime, this failure has a number of consequences for the agencies and the crew aboard the space station. But it will need to be staffed before SpaceX or Boeing launches its new crew capsules next year, Todd said. The space station and its crew depend heavily on missions supported by the rocket.

A source at the Baikonur space center told Sputnik on Thursday that all Russian manned launches had been suspended after the Soyuz accident.

The incident comes as the USA has been making progress in its quest to end Russia's monopoly on manned flights to the ISS by encouraging private companies to conduct launches.

"I hope that the American side will treat it with understanding", he said. "We plan that they will fly in the spring".

During a trip to Moscow this week, Bridenstine emphasized the importance of continuing to work with Russia's NASA equivalent, Roscosmos.

Collaboration between the USA and Russian space agencies has largely steered clear of geopolitical controversies, despite a standoff between Washington and Moscow that has continued since Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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