US, Russia space crew aborts mission after booster failure

James Marshall
October 11, 2018

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

US and Russian officials said the crew was heading for an emergency landing in Kazakhstan at an unspecified time.

"Shortly after launch, there was an issue with the booster".

NASA confirmed the crew had landed safely back on earth at 8.23pm (AEST).

"Teams have been in contact with the crew".

The space agency later tweeted that search and rescue teams were headed to site where the astronauts were expected to land.

The capsule went into "ballistic descent mode" after the problem occurred, she said.

It said there was an issue with "the booster from today's launch".

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexey Ovchinin lifted off in Kazakhstan at around 2:40 p.m. local time from the Russia-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome atop a Soyuz booster rocket.

But they got into trouble and were forced to make an emergency exit.

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

It's the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013. Hague and Ovchinin will spend about six months living and working aboard the orbiting lab.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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