Russian, US astronauts survive rocket failure in space station launch

The launch of the Soyuz rocket

The Soyuz rocket carrying the two astronauts at liftoff

Hague and Ovchinin only reached a bit over 6Gs, though. They are to be flown to the Baikonur cosmodrome and then on to Star City space training center outside Moscow. One of the pictures showed Hague smiling and another had him sitting next to Russia's space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin. Both are reported to be in good condition.

The astronauts were able to patch the air leak, and cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev posted footage from onboard to reassure people back on Earth that the crew was doing just fine.

Live video of the astronauts showed them shaking violently with the vibrations caused by the malfunction. Instead NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin returned to Earth in a ballistic return of their capsule from an altitude of over 30 miles.

Oleg Orlov, the head of Russia's main space medicine centre, said the crew was trained to endure higher-than-usual gravity loads and were tightly strapped into their custom-made seats to help withstand the pressure.

"An investigative group has been formed and officials are now examining the launch site, documents are being seized", the Investigative Committee said in a statement. NASA also noted that an investigation into the cause of the accident will now get underway. Roscosmos, the Russian firm that operates the nation's space agency and is responsible for Soyuz launches, will not hold any news conferences today.

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan-The problem came two minutes into the flight: The rocket carrying an American and a Russian to the International Space Station failed on October 10, triggering an emergency that sent their capsule into a steep, harrowing fall back to Earth.

The rocket was launched was from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0840 GMT (12.40pm UAE time).

Russian Federation immediately suspended all manned space launches and set up a state commission to investigate what had gone wrong. He added that Russian Federation will fully share all relevant information with the U.S.

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Search and rescue teams were heading to the area to recover the crew.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said there was an issue with the spacecraft's booster after it took off Thursday from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The first Russian Soyuz capsule to carry a crew of astronauts to the International Space Station was the Soyuz TM-31, which launched in 2000. The launch was proceeding normally until the first mention of booster failure at about the 3:30 mark.

Rescue crews are now heading towards the emergency landing site in the barren Kazakh steppe to provide support for the crew.

The U.S. and other nations have depended on Russian Federation to carry astronauts to the ISS since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

At this moment, there are no Soyuz spacecraft berthed at the orbiting science station. Nasa has been paying for seats on Soyuz rockets to ferry its astronauts to the International Space Station since the Space Shuttle programme ended in 2011.

Hague and Ovchinin would have joined the station's current crew, which includes American astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor.

Collaboration between the USA and Russian space agencies has largely steered clear of geopolitical controversies, despite a standoff between Washington and Moscow that has continued since Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.

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