Sunday, 16 December, 2018

ISS: Space rocket declares emergency after launch - astronauts parachute out

A Soyuz-FG rocket booster blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with Roscosmos cosmonau ISS: Space rocket declares emergency after launch – astronauts parachute out | Daily Star
Sandy Nunez | 13 October, 2018, 08:12

Meanwhile, sources at Baikonur spaceport, Roscosmos' main launch site, told Interfax news agency that the next Soyuz manned spaceflight, scheduled for December, might happen a month earlier.

A two-man US-Russian crew of a Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station was safe following a dramatic emergency landing on Thursday shortly after liftoff in Kazakhstan when their rocket failed in mid-air. Roscosmos and NASA said the three-stage Soyuz booster suffered an emergency shutdown of its second stage.

The escape system was immediately activated, approximately 114 seconds into flight, and the crew's capsule made a "ballistic descent" - "a sharper angle of landing compared to normal", according to NASA - then landed 400 km east of Baikonur.

We also get a view of the crew inside, with American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin looking very focused on what they are doing, both holding tablets in their hands. He added that the president is receiving regular updates about the situation.

Smoke rises as first-stage boosters separate from a Soyuz rocket with a Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying a NASA astronaut an a Russian cosmonaut.

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.

Glover, the NASA astronaut at the bar, received word that the astronauts were making a "ballistic descent", a much steeper and faster return to Earth than what is ideal - but that search-and-rescue crews were in contact with the astronauts. The city is about 450 kilometers from the Russia's Baikonur space center, which Russian Federation operates through an agreement with the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Hague and Ovchinin are replacing NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, as well as Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, who departed ISS and returned to Earth last week.

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The launch failure marks an unprecedented mishap for the Russian space program, which has been dogged by a string of other incidents.

Earlier this week, Bridenstine emphasized that collaboration with Russia's Roscosmos remains important.

There are now three crew members aboard the ISS: NASA astronaut Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst, and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev.

NASA has relied on Russian rockets to ferry astronauts to the space station since the United States retired its Space Shuttle program in 2011. Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of the SpaceX's Dragon v2 and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

Had the launch gone smoothly, Ovchinin and Hague would have reached the space station later today.

Lozano agrees. "Soyuz rockets are relatively low in risk and the safety record is astounding", he said. Neither NASA or Roscosmos will be jumping to any conclusions, but Russian Federation has promised a full investigation and is forming a team to look into how and why the rocket failed as it did.

In this photo made available by Roscosmos on Friday, Oct. 12.

"From everything we have seen, the crew is in great shape", Wiseman said.