Emergency landing following Soyuz launch failure

Ismael LynchOct 14, 2018

The two crew members, astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin, made it back to the surface safe and sound.

Smoke rises as first-stage boosters separate from a Soyuz rocket with a Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying a NASA astronaut an a Russian cosmonaut. After about 20 minutes of uncertainty, Russian officials confirmed the crew were OK, and had landed about 20km east of Dzhezkazgan, a city in central Kazakhstan. The NASA chief said he had spoken to Hague who he said was in high spirits despite the ordeal. Bridenstine attended the launch at Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome with Rogozin as part of an effort to mend relations between the two space superpowers strained by NASA's Commercial Crew Program. It could have not been good.

"He's supremely ready to go, and he'll go as soon as the rocket's ready", Hadfield said.

"Not every mission that fails, ends up so successful", he said.

What happened during the flight?

The last failure of a manned Soyuz launch was in 1983 when a booster exploded.

The malfunction could cause a headache for NASA.

The capsule's parachute deployed successfully, however, landing them on the grassy steppe about 250 miles from the Baikonur Cosmodrome rented by Russian Federation.

Footage showed the pair shaking around in the capsule, enduring gravitational forces of six to seven times more than is felt on Earth as they came down at a sharper-than-normal angle.

NASA said Hague and Ovchinin experienced more than six times the force of gravity before tumbling onto a grassy expanse more than 200 miles from the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

"Teams have been in contact with the crew".

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

"That's the scary moment, you know, when you know that the Gs are not where they should be and then communications stops and I'm sure that they are going through their procedures and doing their thing and the question is what's the ultimate G-load ... and how does that affect the crew", he said. It would have been an uncomfortable ride back to Earth, however.

The TASS news agency said that the ISS crew has enough supplies and that the failed launch will not affect operations.

But it added that Russia's state space industry probably could not be saved "in its current form". However, the two sides have continued their cooperation in space.

Relations between the USA and Russian Federation have been very tense in recent years.

Just over two minutes into the flight of the latest Soyuz rocket, delivering crew members to the International Space Station, the booster suffered some kind of in-flight accident, as debris was spotted in the rocket's wake during live coverage of the launch. NASA also noted that an investigation into the cause of the accident will now get underway.

Questions are now likely to be asked about Russia's space program.

A Progress rocket was lost in the atmosphere in December 2016.

Earlier in 2017, at least nine of a payload of 73 satellites were reported "dead on arrival or severely degraded" after separation from their Soyuz-2.1 launch vehicle.

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