ibusinesslines.com November 14, 2018

Soyuz Rocket Malfunctions, Emergency Rescue Under Way

12 October 2018, 10:14 | Justin Tyler

Soyuz Rocket Malfunctions, Emergency Rescue Under Way

Soyuz Rocket Malfunctions, Emergency Rescue Under Way

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.

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying astronaut Nick Hague of the US and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russian Federation blasted off from the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Thursday. The contingency procedure sends the spacecraft carrying the crew on a "sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA said.

The moment the boost rocket failed was captured on the live-feed of the launch carried on NASA and Roscomos' websites.

Russian Federation has suspended manned flights pending an investigation of the latest failure. They are to be flown to the Baikonur cosmodrome and then on to Star City space training center outside Moscow. "And that means that the crew inside experiences higher G-force loads as they go through the landing".

NASA said it's dusting off its plans for operating the space station without a crew, just in case the Russian investigation drags into next year.

While the Soyuz rocket is considered a reliable launch vehicle in the space sector, this is not the first failure in the Soyuz program's history. In 2015, CRS-7 launched a Dragon capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket to resupply the space station, but the second stage exploded.

Visiting Kazakhstan for the first time as NASA administrator, Jim Bridenstine witnessed Thursday's launch and promised a "thorough investigation" into the mishap. The crew has safely returned to Earth in a jettisoned escape capsule.

Search and rescue crews have deployed to the Soyuz landing site and are in contact with the two crew members, one America and one Russian, who are in good condition.

By early Thursday afternoon, Ovchinin and Hague were on helicopters, making their way back to Baikonur, NASA said.

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.

Russian space agency Roscomos will reportedly perform an inspection of the Progress Rocket Space Centre, where manufacturing of the Soyuz rocket took place.

However, Thursday's incident was the first manned launch failure since 1983 when a Soyuz rocket exploded in the launch area. "The emergency rescue systems of the MS-Soyuz spacecraft worked smoothly".

A few hours later, Roscosmos released a photo of Hague and Ovchinin safe and sound at a Kazakhstan airport where they were getting a medical checkup after the ordeal. It read: "NASA is working closely with Roscosmos to ensure the safe return of the crew". The leak was quickly repaired, but Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin suggested that the leak was caused by something other than an accident or production defect.

Hague and Ovchinin would have joined the station's current crew, which includes American astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor.

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