Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Soyuz rocket carrying astronauts forced into emergency landing after malfunction

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Sandy Nunez | 11 October, 2018, 16:13

The rocket was en route to the International Space Station (ISS). Last month, an oxygen leak was found in the International Space Station that Russia's space chief said was caused deliberately.

They were to dock at the orbiting outpost six hours later, but the booster suffered a failure minutes after the launch. Both are reported to be in good condition.

The NASA commentator later said the crew was in good condition and communicating with rescue workers after landing east of the Kazakh city of Zhezkazgan.

An incident took place during the October 11 launch of a Soyuz spacecraft carrying two men to the International Space Station, with the status of the spacecraft and crew now unknown. Most recently, a mysterious hole was detected on the Russian section of the ISS in August, and a Soyuz launch failure destroyed 18 satellites in November 2017.

Video footage from the launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome shows a large plume of smoke coming from the rocket at the moment it failed and footage from inside the capsule shows the two astronauts being violently shaken about.

"Search and rescue teams were deployed to the landing site". It is not clear at this time if that flight will be delayed as a result of the Soyuz MS-10 failure Thursday.

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Observers noted that the staging looked a bit odd, with the usual Korolev Cross (named for the designer of the ICBM on which the Soyuz booster is based) followed by what appeared to be debris as the stages separated.

While the rocket would normally be carrying three people, the third space was instead used for cargo to be taken up to the space station.

While Russian rockets had earned a stellar reputation for their reliability in the past, a string of failed launches in recent years has called into doubt Russia's ability to maintain the same high standards of manufacturing. That leaves NASA dependent on Russian Federation and its Soyuz rockets until then.

"That means the crew will not be going to the International Space Station today".

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