Soyuz Space Vehicle Designed to Safely Return Crew in Any Conditions - ASI

Soyuz Space Vehicle Designed to Safely Return Crew in Any Conditions - ASI

Soyuz Space Vehicle Designed to Safely Return Crew in Any Conditions - ASI

Officials said they would suspend manned launches in the light of the new accident.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were rescued without injuries in Kazakhstan. The capsule separated and recovered in a ballistic trajectory that the Russian space agency said exposed the crew to about 6.7 G's.

The pair lifted off as scheduled at 2.40pm local time from the Baikonur cosmodrome on a Soyuz booster rocket.

The incident came as the rocket was travelling about 7,563km/h, just 119 seconds into the voyage, according to NASA.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov, who oversees space flight, promised to share all information from the investigation with the United States and said that manned space launches would be suspended until the end of the probe, according to Russian news agencies.

Thursday's aborted launch took place in the presence of NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine who was visiting Russian Federation and Baikonur this week.

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NASA confirmed the crew had landed safely back on earth at 8.23pm (AEST).

"That was a short flight". The escape tower then angled the capsule off to the side, ejected, and the capsule opened parachutes for landing. The crew is now being brought to Moscow.

He said as the rocket approached the edge of space, something unprecedented happened. Despite its age, the Soyuz platform has been an extremely reliable mode of transportation to space.

NASA said the incident was the first time a crew has failed to reach orbit after liftoff.

"Officials are now examining the launch site, documents are being seized", it said in a statement.

Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin's spokesman, put it more bluntly in his daily conference call with journalists: "Thank God everyone is alive".

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In 1983, Vladimir Titov and Gennady Strekalov survived a fire during launch in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz spacecraft launched today was to be the return vehicle for Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, who were to return to Earth on December 13.

An interruption would also be disastrous for the research aboard the ISS, as the orbiting station serves as a scientific laboratory. The leak was quickly repaired, but Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin suggested that the leak was caused by something other than an accident or production defect.

Billionaire Elon Musk's Space Explorations Technologies Corp. and Boeing Co. have contracts to deliver astronauts to the ISS starting next year, which may threaten a key source of funding for Russia's space program.

The Russian space program has suffered several failures in recent years.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos tweeted that it's creating a formal commission to investigate the rocket failure.

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Russian flight controllers described the forces experienced by Hague and Ovchinin as six to seven Gs due to the lack of velocity when the failure occurred.

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