Rocket failure astronauts will go back

NASA head: Space station hole cause will be d...

Russian, US astronauts fall to earth in 'ballistic descent' after failed launch to space station

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.

"I fully anticipate that we will fly again on a Soyuz rocket and I have no reason to believe at this point that it will not be on schedule", he told reporters in Moscow.

A Soyuz rocket booster failed during the launch of a capsule carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin on Thursday, forcing officials to abort their mission.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters that the Soyuz capsule automatically jettisoned from the booster when it failed 123 seconds after the launch from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

A recording of communications between the space station and NASA stated that Hague and Ovchinin had experienced 6.7 G's - about the same as Apollo astronauts felt during re-entry, according to Air & Space magazine.

US and Russian space officials said the two were in good condition even though they experienced a gravitational force that was six to seven times more than is felt on Earth.

However, he added: "Of course, it will all depend on the results of the [investigation]" into the October 11 debacle. The Nasa commentator later said the crew was in good condition and communicating with rescue workers after landing east of the Kazakh city of Zhezkazgan. Robotic cargo launches using USA -built resupply ships are also scheduled to deliver more supplies to the station in the next two months. "We are planning their flight for the spring next year", Rogozin wrote, posting a photograph of himself with his arms around the two men aboard a plane.

In August, the crew found a hole in a Russian Soyuz capsule docked to the orbiting space station.

The suspension of Soyuz flights could affect a string of planned launches and returns to Earth.

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the space station following the retirement of the USA space shuttle fleet.

Stefan Beransky, editor of the specialist Aerospatium magazine and author of a book on the Soyuz rocket, said now "the main problem is that there are two fewer people at the station".

"It's a dramatic situation but it was possible to avoid a very much worse turn of events", he said in televised remarks. Dzhezkazgan is about 280 miles northeast of Baikonur, and spacecraft returning from the space station normally land in that region.

The European Space Agency is making contingency plans for three current space station crew members - German Alexander Gerst, American Serena Aunon-Chancellor, and Russian Sergei Prokopyev. There is enough food for the crew to last several months as the station is regularly resupplied by unmanned Japanese and American spacecraft.

Russian officials said crewed space launches have been suspended pending an investigation into the malfunction.

The pair are in contact with ground control, the space agency said.

It could operate like that for a long time, barring a major equipment failure, he added. NASA says it selected him as an astronaut in 2013; he completed training in 2015 and had been scheduled to perform at least two spacewalks as part of his mission on the space station.

NASA has paid for places on Russia's Soyuz rockets for its astronauts to travel to the International Space Station since the American shuttle retired seven years ago. NASA plans to resume US launches to the space station on private spacecraft built by SpaceX and Boeing, beginning in 2019.

But the consequences of the failed launch will ripple through the space station's activities. But it will need to be staffed before SpaceX or Boeing launches its crew capsules next year, Todd said. A crewed launch on Crew Dragon could occur in June of 2019.

In August 1983, Soyuz 7K-ST No.16L meant to visit the Salyut 7 space station had an on-pad abort when the capsule pulled away from an exploding booster.

Moreover, both SpaceX's and Boeing's rocket programs have run into delays, as is often the case in the aerospace industry.

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