U.S., Russian crew in Russian space centre after failed launch

CU expert talks about close call in space

International Space Station (ISS) crew members astronaut Nick Hague of the USA and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russian Federation board the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft for the launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan October 11, 2018.

US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin parachuted to the ground safely in their capsule after a booster on the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft failed, NASA and Russia's space agency said.

Their arms and legs flail while being shaken around at he moment the failure occurred.

"An accident with the booster, two minutes, 45 seconds", the voice of Ovchinin could be heard saying calmly in live-streamed footage of the launch from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome.

This morning, the first launch since the possible sabotage was discovered, Russia's Soyuz booster saw its first in-flight failure in recent memory, and the first manned rocket-related emergency in decades. The contingency procedure sends the spacecraft carrying the crew on a "sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA said.

Sergei Krikalyov, the head of Roscosmos' manned programs, said one of the rocket's four boosters failed to separate from the main stage.

It was an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space programme and a criminal investigation is now under way to determine whether safety regulations had been violated during construction.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he expected Russian President Vladimir Putin would be briefed on the incident.

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Hague and Ovchinin were to join the current three-person crew on the International Space Station to perform research experiments.

The engines were seen to cut out, after which the Soyuz MS-10 spaceship holding Russian commander Alexey Ovchinin and Nasa astronaut Nick Hague jettisoned from the drifting launch vehicle. As rescue crews arrived, Hague and Ovchinin were reported in "good condition" and found out of the capsule. This incident will likely delay the scheduled mission of Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques, who was set to fly to the space station in December.

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

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the International Space Station following the retirement of the USA space shuttle fleet. That mission will now be postponed until early next year, space officials said.

A USA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut are alive after a failure during a mission to the International Space Station.

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the space station following the retirement of the US space shuttle fleet. But observers also said the astronauts survived thanks to the reliability of the Soviet-era rocket's rescue system, which returned them safely to Earth despite the launch failure.

The Russian Soyuz MS-09 crew craft and the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter attached to the International Space Station.

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