After Rocket Failure, Astronauts To Go Back Into Space: Russian Official

Soyuz-FG rocket booster blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague of the ISS Expedition 57/58 prime crew aboard to the International Space Station (IS

The failure of the booster rocket, just two minutes after the launch and at an altitude of 50 kilometres, activated an emergency rescue system which sent the capsule carrying U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin into a unsafe ballistic descent. "The Soyuz capsule returned to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal".

United States astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were rescued without injuries in Kazakhstan. The Government Accountability Office - Congress's official auditing agency - said in a July report that incomplete safety measures and accountability problems could push back the commercial program further.

"Thank god, the cosmonauts are alive", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call. He added that the president is receiving regular updates about the situation.

In statements by both Russian Federation and NASA the crew is said to be in "good condition", and no serious injuries have been reported.

What was expected to be a six-hour flight to the International Space Station was abruptly curtailed when the rocket reached an altitude of approximately 164,000 feet, at the cusp of space.

About 34 minutes elapsed from the time the rocket failed to when the capsule finally parachuted to a landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan, where rescue crews swiftly picked up the pair. The agency is waiting for both Boeing and SpaceX to deliver home-grown spacecraft so it no longer has to rely on Russian Federation to send supplies and crew to the ISS.

Hague, who only joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013, was on his first space mission.

In August, however, the detection of a minute pressure leak on the International Space Station became the subject of intense media speculation in Russian Federation.

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Russia's Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying the members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 57/58, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, blasts off to the ISS from the launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Baikonur on October 11, 2018.

The Chief of Roscosmos, Dmitri Rogozin, said in a tweeted statement that "a state commission" had been formed to investigate the cause of the malfunction.

Earlier this week, Bridenstine emphasized that collaboration with Russia's Roscosmos remains important.

In the meantime, the absence of a government-run manned space program, plus other technological advances, has helped spur a rush by private USA companies to develop their own launch technologies.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said there was an issue with the spacecraft's booster after it took off Thursday from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of SpaceX's Dragon v2 and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules. Cosmonauts Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov separated the capsule and landed safely near the launchpad.

It's been an interesting couple of months for Russia's space program. Those questions not only include what happened to make the Soyuz launch fail, but how NASA, Roscosmos, and the ESA will need to change the ISS schedule to accommodate today's failure.

Roscosmos had earlier made a decision to temporarily ground its Soyuz rocket launches until experts can properly assess the situation. In August, a hole appeared in a Soyuz capsule already docked to the ISS that caused a brief loss of air pressure and had to be patched.

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