Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Rocket Headed for International Space Station Aborts After Launcher Failure

Theresa Hayes | 11 October, 2018, 20:14

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.

Two astronauts, one American and one Russian, made a successful emergency landing on the ground in Kazakhstan after the rocket carrying them to the International Space Station experienced a malfunction.

Rogozin said at the time that the launch of the 2.6 billion-rouble ($39.02 million) satellite had been due to an embarrassing programming error.

The ability of the Russian-American crew to return safely after the latest mishap drew relief from senior Russian officials.

"The boys have landed", Mission Control assured the International Space Station crew. The module lands at a steeper angle than they would in a normal landing.

NASA says it chose Hague as an astronaut in 2013 and completed training in 2015; he had been scheduled to perform at least two spacewalks as part of his mission on the space station.

Watch live updates from NASA here.

A Russian rescue mission found both members of the crew alive and well about 12 to 15 miles outside a small city in central Kazakhstan.

The Expedition 57 crew members are working on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science, according to NASA.

In August, a hole appeared in a Soyuz capsule already docked to the ISS which caused a brief loss of air pressure and had to be patched.

The doomed booster left Earth behind at 4:40 AM ET today (Oct. 11), and everything seemed fine for the first several minutes.

The current iteration of the manned Soyuz booster, the Soyuz-FG, had until today boasted a 100 percent success rate.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, coordinated the launch, which had been planned for multiple years. Hague and Ovchinin are being taken from their emergency landing site to 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. "The crew's safety systems worked". NASA too is conducting an investigation of its own.

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the International Space Station following the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet.

At this moment, there are no Soyuz spacecraft berthed at the orbiting science station. An investigation into that anomaly and how the hole was formed is also underway.