Crew Rescued After Russian ISS Launch Fails

ISS: Space rocket declares emergency after launch – astronauts parachute out | Daily Star

The last one returned to Earth on October 4, carrying NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, after their 197-day mission in space.

American Nick Hague, from Nasa, and Alexei Ovchinin, from Russia's space agency Roscosmos, blasted off to the International Space Station from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

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".

Had the launch gone smoothly, Ovchinin and Hague would have reached the space station later today.

"The boys will certainly fly their mission", Rogozin tweeted, posting a picture in which he sits with the two astronauts aboard a Moscow-bound plane.

Still, Moscow has suspended all manned space launches until it confirms exactly what went wrong and why, and Rogozin has ordered a state commission to investigate.

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield told Euronews the three people now on the station (Alexander Gerst, Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Sergey Prokopyev) are essentially stuck there until a spaceship can be launched to get them.

NASA says that two astronauts from the USA and Russian Federation are in good condition after an emergency landing following booster rocket failure minutes after the launch. "We need more data".

Russian Federation said it was likely to bring forward the flight of a new manned space mission, but postpone the launch of a cargo ship scheduled for 31 October.

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The Soyuz system has a long history of reliable launches.

An "anomaly" with the booster led to the launch being aborted, NASA later said.

The failure undoubtedly has major implications for the far future of the space station program, and even in more immediate terms, this will likely change how the station runs for the time being, with two fewer crewmembers than expected.

Currently, humanity has only one spaceship capable of taking people to the International Space Station (ISS) and back, the Russian Soyuz.

About two minutes after launching, the three-stage Soyuz booster rocket suffered an unspecified failure of its second stage.

"I fully anticipate that we will fly again on a Soyuz rocket", he said, praising the "wonderful relationship" between Nasa and the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

There was no immediate word on whether Mr Gertz and the current space station crew might need to extend their own six-month missions. Russian activities in Ukraine, charges of interfering in the US presidential election of 2016 and the conflict in Syria are some of the main issues.

A space walk planned for mid-November has also been cancelled, he said.

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