A booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and a USA astronaut onboard headed for the global space station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
"We had an interruption on today's launch", a NASA commentator reported.
They are set to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan, with both crew members live and talking to mission control.
"Teams have been in contact with the crew".
Riding atop a Russian Soyuz rocket, the rookie NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT; 2:40 p.m. Kazakhstan time).
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The rocket was carrying U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin. The launch appeared to be normal until around first stage separation, when the crew reported a "failure" with the booster and feeling weightlessness.
The Soyuz began an immediate "ballistic" reentry at that time, and landed on Earth 20 kilometres outside of Jezkazgan, Kazakhstan less than an hour after launch. NASA said search and rescue crews were en route to the projected landing site, expecting to arrive in about 90 minutes.
Ovchinin spent six months on the station in 2016.
The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft is seen moments after blastoff.