Russian Space Crew Makes Emergency Landing

New Space Station Crew Launches Thursday Watch It Live

It's now unclear what's next for the astronauts - other than that they are being taken to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia for evaluation.

The agency said search-and-rescue teams were en route to the landing location and were in contact with the two crew members.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the most important thing was that the two men were alive.

"I strongly believe we're going to get the right answer to what caused the hole on the International Space Station and that together we'll be able to continue our strong collaboration", Bridenstine said on a visit to Moscow this week, according to the Associated Press.

The astronauts were to dock at the International Space Station six hours after the launch, but the three-stage Soyuz booster suffered an unspecified failure of its second stage.

The Soyuz rocket and its Soyuz MS-10 space capsule lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at about 4:47 a.m. EDT (0847 GMT) with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin aboard.

About 30 minutes later the capsule parachuted onto a barren area of steppe in Kazakhstan.

The crew of the MS-10 landed roughly 19km east of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan and was met by a search and recovery team that's always prepared on the ground for a situation precisely like this.

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin, who watched the launch together with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, tweeted that a panel has been set up to investigate the cause of the booster failure. Borisov added that Russian Federation will fully share all relevant information with the U.S.

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In recent years, Russia's space programme has faced a number of technical failures - 13 since 2010.

Hadfield said the three astronauts now living on the International Space Station "are basically marooned there - indefinitely at this point, until we can get another vehicle out there". An oxygen tank exploded two days after launch causing a loss of power and leading to the mission being aborted. Roscosmos sent more than 70 rocket engines back to production lines to replace faulty components.

This type of Soyuz rocket has been flying people to space since 2001, and until now, it has never failed, according to Space News. The cosmonauts safely escaped in that accident as well.

The probe would seek to determine whether safety regulations had been violated during construction, leading to massive damage, the statement said.

Relations between the US and Russian Federation have been very tense in recent years. -Russian cooperation in space.

Billionaire Elon Musk's Space Explorations Technologies Corp. and Boeing Co. have contracts to deliver astronauts to the ISS starting next year, which may threaten a key source of funding for Russia's space program. Russian Federation stands to lose that monopoly in the coming years with the arrival of SpaceX's Dragon and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules.

Mario Ritter adapted this story for VOA Learning English from AP and Reuters stories.

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