Nasa to continue using Soyuz rockets despite breakdown

Nasa to continue using Soyuz rockets despite breakdown

Nasa to continue using Soyuz rockets despite breakdown

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying the crew of astronaut Nick Hague of the U.S. and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russian Federation blasts off to the International Space Station (ISS) from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan October 11, 2018.

A Soyuz rocket carrying crew members to the International Space Station (ISS) malfunctioned during a launch in Kazakhstan.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted he is "grateful everyone is safe" and that "a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted".

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying a new U.S.

NASA said in a statement: "The Soyuz MS-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday, October 11 (2:40 Baikonur)".

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

In 2003, when Expedition 6 crew members Ken Bowersox and Don Pettit and their cosmonaut counterpart Nikolai Budarin returned from a five-month stay aboard the ISS, their automated controls failed, forcing the re-entry in ballistic mode.

The crew "report they are in good condition", NASA said.

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "Thank God the crew is alive" after they had landed safely.

Earlier this morning, the two astronauts on board the Russian Soyuz spacecraft had a close call on what was an otherwise routine mission.

The two astronauts were to arrive at the International Space Station (ISS) six hours after the launch to join an American, a Russian and a German now aboard the station.

While the Russian program has been dogged by a string of problems with unmanned launches in recent years, Thursday's incident was the first manned failure since September 1983, when a Soyuz exploded on the launch pad.

Appearing at times emotional, he said he was "confident" a new manned mission to the International Space Station would go ahead as planned in December, praising the "wonderful relationship" between the Russian and USA space agencies.

Private-sector solutions are now in the works, including Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon, but neither program will be ready to send humans into space until at least the winter of 2019. Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for NASA.

Roscosmos say they are forming a commission to investigate the launch failure. There are now three astronauts aboard the ISS: Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency; Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA; and Sergey Prokopyev of Russian Federation.

In a series of photos, Mr Gerst captured the moment a Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned at the start of what should have been a routine six-hour flight to deliver two astronauts to the ISS.

The rocket's emergency abort system took over at that point, ejecting the Soyuz capsule, which carried the two-man crew on a harrowing ride back down to Earth. Search and rescue teams went into action and retrieved the astronauts by helicopter. The hole cause a small oxygen leak while hooked up to the ISS. Roscosmos chief, Dmitry Rogozin, didn't make things much easier after stating that the tiny hole may have been an act of deliberate sabotage.

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