Photos taken after rocket failure prove spaceflight is never routine

by Fredrick Graves October 14, 2018, 15:34
Photos taken after rocket failure prove spaceflight is never routine

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in what NASA director Jim Bridenstine described as "good condition" after surviving an emergency landing after a booster failure on a Russian Soyuz rocket Thursday.

After this morning's launch failed to reach orbit, the International Space Station is left with only three crewmembers aboard, commanded by German astronaut Alexander Gerst.

US and Russian space officials said the astronauts were in good condition even though they experienced a gravitational force that was six-to-seven times more than is felt on Earth when their capsule went into a steep, harrowing fall back to ground.

Russia is now under pressure to prove its space program is safe and received a boost on Friday when NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said he had full confidence in Russian-made Soyuz rockets and expected US astronauts to fly on them again.

That's a diplomatic way to say the Russian booster failed, forcing the crew to perform a risky launch abort. Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for NASA.

Speaking with reporters in Moscow before Thursday's launch, Bridenstine said that Russian-American cooperation in space remained strong, amid an investigation into the cause of the leak.

On Friday, the head of Russian space agency Dmitry Rogozin said both men will get another shot at their mission to ISS.

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David Saint-Jacques is scheduled to co-pilot the capsule December 20 and become the first Canadian at the orbiter since now-retired astronaut Chris Hadfield returned to Earth in 2013. Because, that would mean that the current crew overseas the International Space Station would not have to extend their stay.

On board the Soyuz MS-10 were US Astronaut Nick Hague, KG5TMV, and Russian Cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin. For Hague, this would have been his first trip to space.

Later, NASA stated, "There was an issue with the booster from today's launch".

The US and Russian astronaut who were forced to make an emergency landing after a rocket failure will attempt to launch again next spring. All Soyuz flights, both manned and those carrying vital supplies such as food and equipment, have been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation. The pair was returned to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan en route to Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City.

According to the state news agency RIA Novosti and Russian state television at the launch site, the crew parachuted to Earth in an emergency landing in Kazakhstan.

Russian and US space officials said that the crew is heading for an emergency landing in Kazakhstan at an unspecified time.

In August, the International Space Station crew spotted a hole in a Russian Soyuz capsule docked to the orbiting outpost that caused a brief loss of air pressure before being patched.

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