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POST TIME: 12 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Astronauts escape malfunctioning rocket
AFP

Astronauts escape malfunctioning rocket

MOSCOW: The two-man crew of a Soyuz rocket made a successful emergency landing yesterday after an engine problem on lift-off to the International Space Station, in a major setback for the beleaguered Russian space industry, reports AFP. US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin were rescued without injuries in Kazakhstan.

“The emergency rescue system worked, the vessel was able to land in Kazakhstan... the crew are alive,” the Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a tweet. The pair are in contact with ground control, the space agency said. Over the past few years the Russian space industry has suffered a series of problems including the loss of a number of satellites and other spacecraft.

The rocket was launched was from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0840 GMT. “The launch had a problem with the booster (rocket) a few seconds after the first stage separation and we can confirm now that the crew has started to go into ballistic descent mode,” the voiceover on a NASA livestream from mission control in Houston said.