Russian, US astronauts survive rocket failure in space station launch

Selfie of Mars Curiosity rover

He rejected suggestions it could harm USA relations, saying they recognised it was a "hi-tech industry linked to risk", but he added: "We certainly won't hide the reasons, it is uncommon for such situations". But soon after the landing, USA and Russian officials said that rescue forces were in contact with the astronaut and cosmonaut.

"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.

With the failure of this launch, there are far-reaching consequences for the world's human space programs, and for those astronauts and cosmonauts now on board the International Space Station. According to NASA TV footage of the launch, Russian flight controllers first announced a booster failure about 165 seconds into flight.

NASA says the agency is still gathering more details about the incident. The mission would have been Hague's first space flight. Ovchinin spent six months on the orbiting outpost in 2016. Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometres northeast of Baikonur. Russian officials said they may spend the night in Baikonur before being flown to Star City, Russia's space training center outside Moscow, the Tass news agency said.

Unfortunately, Hague and Ovchinin never made it that far. Today it has been shown again how great the Soyuz is: despite a misstart, the crew was safely brought back to Earth.

1971: The three-men crew aboard Soyuz 11 suffocated as the result of an air leak after undocking from the Salyut 1 space station.

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The journey was expected to take six hours.

International groups of astronauts often accompany each other to the International Space Station in joint launches. "Spaceflight is hard. And we must keep trying for the benefit of humankind". The capsule separated and recovered in a ballistic trajectory that the Russian space agency said exposed the crew to about 6.7 G's. Hague was supposed to be one of the spacewalkers.

A couple minutes after liftoff, however, a frantic message - "Failure, failure, failure", blared across the live feed. The spacecraft has been the sole means of bringing humans to the space station since the end of the U.S. Space Shuttle program, but commercial providers aiming for manned spaceflight are increasingly nipping at Russia's heels.

During a trip to Moscow this week, Bridenstine emphasized the importance of continuing to work with Russia's NASA equivalent, Roscosmos.

Collaboration between the United States 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 U.S. presidential election.

The incident comes as the US has been making progress in its quest to end Russia's monopoly on manned flights to the ISS by encouraging private companies to conduct launches.

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