TERRIFYING moment rocket SHUDDERS as crew fear for lives before EMERGENCY landing

Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft

The space agency said American Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin weren't injured and crews reached them shortly after the booster malfunctioned at an undisclosed altitude 123 seconds into the launch sequence.

Ovchinin and USA astronaut Nick Hague had blasted off on a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster carrying a new crew to the International Space Station blasts off at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 11, 2018.

Search and rescue crews retrieved the crew, returning them to Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

NASA says that two astronauts from the USA and Russian Federation are in good condition after an emergency landing following booster rocket failure minutes after the launch. "The Soyuz capsule returned to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA said on its website.

The failure is a setback for the Russian space program and the latest in a string of mishaps.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters the most important thing was that the two men were alive.

It was the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013.

It's exceptionally hard to believe Roscosmos could rush through an incident investigation before the scheduled December 20th launch of Soyuz MS-11, even if the fault is found to be operational and not with the rocket itself.

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The International Space Station, a rare point of cooperation between Moscow and Washington, has been orbiting the Earth at roughly 28,000 kilometres per hour since 1998 and will mark its 20th birthday in November.

The U.S. and other nations have depended on Russian Federation to carry astronauts to the ISS since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011. American Nick Hague and Russian Alexei Ovchinin were uninjured, Russian government officials said.

"NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and the NASA team are monitoring the situation carefully", said NASA, in a statement released early Thursday.

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

There have been two similar Soviet-era accidents involving the Soyuz spacecraft, which are still used to ferry crews to and from the ISS.

Russian Federation has launched a criminal investigation over a failed rocket launch to the International Space Station. "The ISS crew members now in-orbit have been notified of the launch contingency".

The crew already on the ISS will not be affected by Thursday's aborted mission, Russia's Tass news agency reported, quoting an unnamed source as saying they have enough supplies. That 0.08-inch (2-millimeter) hole in the orbital module of the Soyuz vehicle created a small air leak on the space station that was detected by flight controllers on the ground and ultimately repaired by astronauts and cosmonauts on the space station.

Sadly, Orion isn't even close to being certified for crew delivery, and the rocket meant to put it into orbit, NASA's Space Launch System, is in a parlous state.

The existing station crew is supposed to get its ride back home in a Soyuz capsule that is docked to the station.

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