U.S. and Russian Astronauts Safe After Making Emergency Landing When Booster Rocket Failed on Launch
The following is an excerpt from DMITRY LOVETSKY | October 11, 2018 | Time.com |
(BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan) — Two astronauts from the U.S. and Russia were safe after an emergency landing Thursday in the steppes of Kazakhstan following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 2:40 p.m. (0840 GMT; 4:40 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket. Roscosmos and NASA said the three-stage Soyuz booster suffered an emergency shutdown of its second stage. 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.
NASA said that rescue teams have reached Hague and Ovchinin and they’ve been taken out of the capsule and were in good condition. The capsule landed about 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan. The launch failure marks an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space program, which has been dogged by a string of launch failures and other incidents in recent years.
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