Two astronauts made an emergency landing after their Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station malfunctioned during lift-off on Thursday. The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration confirmed there was an “issue with the booster” and the crew has landed back on Earth.
The rocket took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague on board at 2.10 pm Indian time. The problem with the booster was detected minutes later.
Search and rescue teams reported that the two astronauts were in “good condition” and were preparing them for a return to Moscow, said NASA.
Hague was on his first space mission and was set to stay at the International Space Station for six months. Hague and Ovchinin would have joined Expedition 57 Commander Alexander Gerst, NASA Flight Engineer Serena Aunon-Chancellor and Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Prokopyev at the space station.
The crew members of Expedition 57 are conducting experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station.