Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Science | By Patricia Jimenez

Astronauts cheat death as rocket fails in mid-flight

Astronauts cheat death as rocket fails in mid-flight

After this morning's launch failed to reach orbit, the International Space Station is left with only three crewmembers aboard, commanded by German astronaut Alexander Gerst. The capsule jettisoned from the booster and went into a ballistic descent, landing at a sharper than normal angle.

NASA says two astronauts from the USA and Russian Federation have been flown to the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan en route to Moscow after an emergency landing following the failure of a booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station. In a press conference on Thursday, Kenny Todd, ISS operations integration manager, said NASA also doesn't want to de-crew the station by bringing the astronauts back and sending none to replace them. However, after Thursday's incident, the Russian space agency Roscosmos is conducting a full investigation before it will send up any additional Soyuz rockets.

Moscow has suspended all manned space launches, while Rogozin has ordered a state commission to investigate what went wrong.

The capsule carrying the men then separated from the malfunctioning rocket and made "a steep ballistic descent to Earth with parachutes helping slow its speed".

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However, according to Spiegel, the European space Agency claim that the extension of stay Hirst at the station because of the accident is still pending.

Russian space agency Roscosmos confirmed several minutes later that Hague and Ovchinin had been forced to abort the launch and escape the failing booster in the Soyuz capsule. It was Hague's maiden space mission.

Thursday's mission was supposed to transport a Russian Cosmonaut and American Astronaut to relieve members who are already aboard the International Space Station.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin's spokesman, put it more bluntly in his daily conference call with journalists: "Thank God everyone is alive".

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Both are scheduled to return to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia, today; Hague is expected to fly home to Houston next week.

Russia's RIA news agency reported that Russian Federation has immediately suspended all manned space launches after the failure.

Space X and Boeing are both working on ships that could transport astronauts to the station without relying on the Russian space program.

Bridenstine also heaped praise on the relationship Washington and Moscow enjoy in the frontier of space, free from the deepening political disputes "we have terrestrial". "The investigation is underway", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told reporters. "We're thrilled that even though it was a launch failure, all of the safety systems worked".

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This is the first emergency landing with this type of carrier rocket over the past 35 years. The accident comes weeks after a hole was discovered in the International Space Station amid talk from the Russian space authorities of deliberate sabotage.

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