US, Russia astronauts making emergency landing

US, Russia astronauts making emergency landing

US, Russia astronauts making emergency landing

The two-man crew of a Soyuz rocket are alive after they were forced to make an emergency landing on Thursday following lift-off to the International Space Station, the Russian space agency said.

"Thank God, the crew is alive", Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when it became clear that the crew had landed safely.

The Soyuz was carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague, making his first spaceflight, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, making his second.

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The Kremlin confirmed the men had survived.

A Soyuz rocket takes off from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

But they got into trouble and were forced to make an emergency exit. They were scheduled to dock with the space station later Thursday and spend six-months there.

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The US space agency Nasa said there was an "issue with the booster".

"The crewmembers of Expedition 57 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, humanity's only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory", NASA officials said in a statement.

The Soyuz MS-10 rocket had four boosters strapped to its central core. Search and rescue teams are heading towards the expected touchdown location of the spacecraft and crew'.

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

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