Rocket carrying space station crew fails in mid-air, crew safe: Agencies

Rocket carrying space station crew fails in mid air, crew safe:...

US, Russian astronauts blast off to space station

USA astronaut Nick Hague, right, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station wave as they board the rocket prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

But the members were forced to make an emergency landing after suffering a booster malfunction during launch in Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around half a mile away said it had gone smoothly in its initial stages and that the failure of the booster rockets must have occurred at higher altitude.

Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, left and NASA astronaut Nick Hague walk to the van that carried them to their rocket at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on October 11, 2018.

The Soyuz began an immediate "ballistic" reentry at that time, and landed on Earth 20 kilometres outside of Jezkazgan, Kazakhstan less than an hour after launch.

The space agency later tweeted that search and rescue teams were headed to site where the astronauts were expected to land. Hague and Ovchinin will spend about six months living and working aboard the orbiting lab.

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft is seen moments after blastoff.

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