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10
Oct
2018

Astronauts make emergency landing after Soyuz rocket malfunctions

Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin

Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin are in good condition despite having to make an emergency landing

NASA TV

By Sam Wong

A Soyuz rocket carrying an American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut has made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after a booster malfunctioned.

The issue arose shortly after launching at the Baikonur Cosmodrome today at 14:40 local time (09:40 BST), heading for the International Space Station.

The two people on board, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin, are in good condition and in contact with rescue crews who are on their way to the landing site, NASA said. The rescuers are expected to reach the area at about 16:30 local time (11:30 BST).

The rocket went into ballistic descent mode, meaning it came in more steeply than it would in a normal landing trajectory, resulting in the crew experiencing higher G forces. “It’s a known mode of descent that crew members have gone through before,” a NASA spokesperson said.

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