Emergency landing following Soyuz launch failure

Soyuz-FG rocket booster blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague of the ISS Expedition 57/58 prime crew aboard to the International Space Station (IS

Soyuz-FG rocket booster blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague of the ISS Expedition 57/58 prime crew aboard to the International Space Station (IS

The booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and USA astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are ready and waiting for their trip to the International Space Station.

Sergei Krikalyov, the head of Roscosmos' manned programs, said one of the rocket's four boosters failed to separate from the main stage. "Spaceflight is hard. And we must keep trying for the benefit of humankind", ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted from aboard the space station as he watched and photographed the launch from space.

Two astronauts are alive after dramatically aborting their voyage to the International Space Station when their Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned.

All trips to the ISS and back are undertaken using Russian spacecraft, as has been the case since the Americans retired their shuttles in 2011.

He said he had also spoken to U.S. astronaut Nick Hague who appeared in high spirits despite the ordeal.

However, he added: "Of course, it will all depend on the results of the [investigation]" into the October 11 debacle.

More details on the status of Hague and Ovchinin when they come in.

Soyuz is able to affect the g-force, experienced by the crew, and halt a mission at any moment, according to Battiston.

Still, Moscow has suspended all manned space launches until it confirms exactly what went wrong and why, and Rogozin has ordered a state commission to investigate. The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft hatch will be opened, and Hague and Ovchinin will be welcomed to the space station, early Thursday afternoon.

To say that this situation is upsetting is an understatement.

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Cosmonauts and astronauts are put through gruelling training, including exercises involving weightlessness and centrifugal force that prepare them to control their reactions in real-life scenarios. Russian space agency Roscosmos/Handout via REUTERS.

However, in the meantime, this failure has a number of consequences for the agencies and the crew aboard the space station.

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. Russian Federation says there is enough food on board to last until April.

An investigation will take place into what happened with the rocket, which entered an abort phase just after booster separation, NASA officials said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. The Soyuz MS-09 capsule which delivered them remains docked to the station and can be used to return that crew home at least through the end of the year. This was his first trip to the International Space Station.

He said that although it had never been done before, the station was equipped to operate without a human presence for long periods of time.

ISS operations integration manager Kenny Todd described the incident as a "major anomaly" and said he had "every confidence our Russian colleagues will figure out what's going on".

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the International Space Station following the retirement of the USA space shuttle fleet.

The contract with Russian Federation ends in late 2019, and the USA space agency has deals with the two American companies to step in at that point.

Three astronauts are now living in the ISS. A Falcon 9 exploded later in 2016 before it had even launched. In 2015, CRS-7 launched a Dragon capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket to resupply the space station, but the second stage exploded.

While it no longer has a shuttle program, the USA does still send supply rockets up to the station.

Moreover, both SpaceX's and Boeing's rocket programs have run into delays, as is often the case in the aerospace industry.

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