Two astronauts rescued as rocket fails

Oct 13, 2018, 00:52
Two astronauts rescued as rocket fails

Which is good news for NASA and companies like SpaceX and Boeing that are developing similar systems for their manned spacecraft - but have never had to test them under live conditions.

American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin survived a harrowing emergency landing, following the failure of the Soyuz rocket booster carrying them to space, but what does this mean for the International Space Station?

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Avchinin were inside the Soyuz MS-10 capsule when the rocket carrying it had what NASA described as a booster separation problem.

The two-person crew aboard a Russian-made Soyuz rocket made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan today shortly after launch.

Reuters Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin (R) and US astronaut Nick Hague (L) disembark from a plane, after the Soyuz spacecraft made an emergency landing following a failure of its booster rockets, as they arrive at Baikonur airport, Kazakhstan, Oct. 11, 2018.

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The rescue capsule landed about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. The three men are scheduled to return to Earth by the end of 2018, meaning that, if the investigation into the rocket failure and any subsequent changes aren't completed by that point the ISS will be left empty for who knows how long.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he expected Russian President Vladimir Putin would be briefed on the incident.

The crash comes after Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin accused Elon Musk of conspiring with the Pentagon to force other players out of the space industry and suggested that worldwide astronauts had sabotaged the ISS by drilling the hole found in its hull.

For now, the USA relies on Moscow to carry its astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) which was launched 20 years ago.

The mission was to be the first for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013.

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Earlier this week, Bridenstine emphasized that collaboration with Russia's Roscosmos remains important.

All Russian manned space launches have been suspended after the incident, according to Russia's RIA news agency.

The ISS crew will do their best to perform spacewalks in the future, but "on other dates", Sergei Krikalev, senior official at Russia's national space agency Roscosmos, told reporters on Friday. "It starts slowly spinning ... and then the parachute comes out and they land". Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of SpaceX's Dragon v2 and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

Russian Federation has continued to rely on Soviet-designed booster rockets to launching commercial satellites, as well as crews and cargo to the International Space Station.

Safety history: This is the first major issue with a Russian Soyuz booster since a mission was aborted on-pad in August 1983, when a capsule pulled away from an exploding booster. The hole cause a small oxygen leak while hooked up to the ISS.

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