Soyuz Crew Performs Ballistic Reentry After Booster Fails During Launch

New Space Station Crew Launches Thursday Watch It Live

NASA Astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are on their way back to Earth after the rocket they were traveling in experienced a booster engine failure shortly after launch on Thursday.

The failed mission was Expedition 57 and it was to transport Roscosmos' Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague to the ISS.

Bridenstine attended the launch at Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome with Rogozin as part of an effort to mend relations between the two space superpowers strained by NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Dean said that while the Soyuz crew would have been "subjected to higher G-forces" during to the ballistic descent, it is a "known mode of descent" that the crew would have trained for.

Search teams reached the crew and reported them to be in good condition. The astronauts were flown by helicopter to Dzhezkazgan and will later be taken to Star City, Russia's space training center outside Moscow.

What happens next: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted a statement in which he confirmed that the crew was safe and that NASA was monitoring the situation carefully.

Rescue crews are now heading towards the emergency landing site in the barren Kazakh steppe to provide support for the crew.

There was an issue with the booster from today's launch.

Nasa has been paying for seats on Soyuz rockets to ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station since the Space Shuttle programme ended in 2011.

Rogozin, the Roscosmos chief, has raised wide consternation by saying that an air leak spotted at the International Space Station was a drill hole that was made intentionally during manufacturing or in orbit.

Russian space agency Roscomos will reportedly perform an inspection of the Progress Rocket Space Centre, where manufacturing of the Soyuz rocket took place. He didn't say if he suspected any of the current crew - an American, a Russian and a German aboard the station. The mission would have been Hague's first space flight.

Russia's Investigative Committee said a criminal probe would seek to determine whether safety regulations had been violated during construction, causing major damage. The derivative has been transporting crews to the space station since coming into service in 2001, conducting 55 successful flights in 17 years.

Russian space agency Roscosmos has released photographs of both astronauts being checked over after their abrupt landing.

Hadfield told CTV News Channel that he considered it "very unlikely" Saint-Jacques' launch would go on as scheduled given Thursday's failure. Spacecraft returning from the ISS normally land in that region. Neither NASA or Roscosmos will be jumping to any conclusions, but Russian Federation has promised a full investigation and is forming a team to look into how and why the rocket failed as it did.

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