New Space Station Crew Launches Thursday

Cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague at the pre-launch ceremony in Kazakhstan

Russian news agencies, citing sources, report that both Soyuz crew members are alive and uninjured after an emergency landing in Kazakhstan following the on-schedule launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

United States space agency NASA said Thursday that a Russian rocket carrying two astronauts to the International Space Station made an emergency landing.

Hague and Ovchinin will open the hatch to their spacecraft at 12:45 p.m. EDT (1645 GMT), when they will be greeted by their three Expedition 57 crewmates: NASA astronaut Serena M. Auñón-Chancellor, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev.

Commander Alexey Ovchinin and flight engineer Tyler "Nick" Hague were scheduled to blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40:15 a.m. EDT (GMT-4; 2:40 p.m. local time), roughly the moment Earth's rotation carries the Soyuz MS-10/56S spacecraft into the plane of the space station's orbit. Search and rescue crews are heading to the landing site.

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"Teams have confirmed the spacecraft separated from the booster and are in contact with the crew as the capsule returns in a ballistic decent mode".

"Search and rescue teams are en route to the landing location and we await further updates".

A duo of astronauts from the USA and Russian Federation has blasted off for a mission on the International Space Station.

It was the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013.

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