The emergency occurred as the first and second stages of a booster rocket separated shortly after launch from Kazakhstan's Soviet-era cosmodrome of Baikonur.
American Nick Hague and Russian Aleksey Ovchinin were forced to return to Earth and landed in Kazakhstan when the booster stopped working during stage-one separation on their Soyuz rocket at approximately 50km (164,000ft) above the Earth.
A source in the Russian space agency said that rescue workers had reached the crew. Search and rescue teams reported the men are in good condition after making a ballistic descent, which has "a sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA said on Twitter.
Head of Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin (C) poses with astronauts Alexey Ovchinin of Russia and Nick Hague of the USA, who survived the mid-air failure of a Russian rocket, on onboard a plane during a flight to Chkalovsky airport near Star City outside Moscow, Russia October 12, 2018.
He said he was "confident" that a new manned mission to the ISS would go ahead as planned in December, praising the "wonderful relationship" between the Russian and U.S. space agencies.
He said he had also spoken to U.S. astronaut Nick Hague who appeared in high spirits despite the ordeal. The intention was to have them work as a team of five until December, when the three scientists now aboard would return to Earth.
It is also possible that this event could affect the next scheduled crew launch of three astronauts in December who were set to replace NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev and Gerst.
"Teams have been in contact with the crew".
In late August, a 2-millimeter hole, which suspiciously looked like it was drilled there, was found to be leaking air from one of the two Soyuz rockets docked at the International Space Station. Instead, the two astronauts landed safely a half-hour later, rescued by the capsule's "automated abort systems" that "is created to be effective", said Kenny Todd, the International Space Station manager.
"We'll have to see where the data leads them", said Todd.
While the Russian program has been dogged by a string of problems with unmanned launches in recent years, Thursday's incident was the first manned failure since September 1983, when a Soyuz exploded on the launch pad. "It has been a hard day", Bridenstine said on Thursday. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted. Russian Federation says there is enough food on board to last until April.
The launch failure raises questions about the continued reliability of Russia's Soyuz launch system, which lost a cargo spacecraft at the end of 2016 and sent a Soyuz capsule with a hole in it to the ISS earlier this year. The United States' first attempt to launch a satellite into orbit ended in failure and an explosion. That said, there's no way of knowing how long Soyuz will be grounded, and when humans can once again be launched into space. However, the two sides have continued their cooperation in space.
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