US, Russian astronauts reach Russia after emergency landing
US, Russian astronauts reach Russia after emergency landing
Soyuz rocket carrying astronauts makes emergency landing
13 October, 2018, 18:42
Nasa says the search and rescue teams have reached the landing site and the crew are out of the Soyuzcapsule. The capsule jettisoned from the booster and went into a ballistic descent, landing at a sharper than normal angle and subjecting the crew to heavy G-loads.
The latest failure yesterday, amid a long string of Russian rocket crashes, was another black eye for the Roscosmosspace agency.
It's now unclear what's next for the astronauts - other than that they are being taken to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia for evaluation.
The incident comes as the USA has been making progress in its quest to end Russia's monopoly on manned flights to the ISS by encouraging private companies to conduct launches. This is especially tricky, as the new batteries arrived later than expected after a series of launch delays from the Japanese cargo vehicle they were on. However, after Thursday's incident, the Russian space agency Roscosmos is conducting a full investigation before it will send up any additional Soyuz rockets.
Russian space officials said Hague and Rogozin will spend a couple of days at Star City, Russia's main space training center outside Moscow, undergoing routine medical checks.
"Thank god, the cosmonauts are alive", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
Hague and Ovchinin would have joined the station's current crew, which includes American astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor. Officials are also investigating the unusual hole recently found in a Soyuz spacecraft aboard the International Space Station. The crew landed about 20 kilometers east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, where rescue crews were scrambled to find them.
All manned launches have been suspended and a criminal probe has been launched. Blue Origin is scheduled to unveil its engine in 2019, but regular launches of USA satellites are still years away.
Rogozin, the Roscosmos chief, has raised wide consternation by saying that an air leak spotted at the International Space Station was a drill hole that was made intentionally during manufacturing or in orbit.
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