Two astronauts managed a narrow escape when a Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned two minutes after liftoff Thursday on a mission to the International Space Station.
The spacecraft, with US astronaut Tyler “Nick” Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, had taken off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and was less than two minutes into its flight an automatic abort command was triggered, leading to a fall of about 51 kilometres. According to NASA, the failure was caused by an anomaly with the booster on the spacecraft.
A video showed the two passengers being shaken inside the cabin before the feed was cut off. The capsule they were in separated from the failing rocket before deploying parachutes to descend to earth.
Hague and Ovchinin were reported to be fine after the landing. An investigation will be conducted into the cause of the incident.