Rocket failure astronauts will go back into space - Russian official

Adjust Comment Print

Rescue teams near the Soyuz capsule that carried USA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin after an emergency landing in central Kazakhstan Oct. 11, 2018.

"The crew is returning to Earth in a ballistic descent mode".

Russian crews are collecting pieces of rocket debris in the desert of Kazakhstan a day after two astronauts survived an emergency landing when a Russian rocket failed mid-launch, however, the head of the agency says both crew will launch again.

Meanwhile, NASA Administrator Jim Brindenstine and European Space Agency Director General Jan Woerner have offered their assistance in the investigation into the Soyuz booster failure, the report said.

During a news conference on Thursday, International Space Station Operations Integration Manager Kenny Todd said that should the crew need to leave the station before a replacement crew could be sent up, the station could be piloted remotely.

Mr Bridenstine said that he had full confidence in the safety and reliability of Russian-made Soyuz space rockets.

Spaceflight historian Gunter Krebs noted on Twitter that the situation reminded him of another Soyuz rocket failure in 1972, when "an in-flight booster failure occurred and the crew was rescued after ballistic re-entry".

Collaboration between the U.S. and Russian space agencies has largely steered clear of geopolitical controversies, despite a standoff between Washington and Moscow that has continued since Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 United States presidential election.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 2:40 p.m. (0840 GMT; 4:40 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket.

It was the first such incident in Russia's post-Soviet history - an unprecedented setback for the country's space industry. Russian Federation says it has opened a criminal investigation and grounded all Soyuz flights.

Nick Hague and Aleksey Ovchinin before the aborted Soyuz launch on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Ovchinin and Hague have returned to the Star City training centre outside Moscow where they will be under medical observation for two days. There is no indication the launch failure and the mystery hole in the last Soyuz launched are connected. They both came home safely.

Bridenstine praised the Soyuz emergency rescue system, saying it functioned like a "miracle".

Russian and USA space officials said that the crew is heading for an emergency landing in Kazakhstan at an unspecified time. -Russian cooperation in space, voicing hope that tensions between Moscow and Washington in other areas wouldn't affect that relationship.

There was no immediate word on whether the current space station crew of an American, a Russian and a German might need to extend its own six-month mission.