ISS: Space rocket declares emergency after launch - astronauts parachute out

Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft

Shamil Zhumatov

NASA Astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin after the emergency landing.

The contract with the Russians ends in late 2019, and the US space agency has contracts with two American companies, Boeing and SpaceX, to step in.

But soon after the landing, US and Russian officials said that rescue forces were in contact with the two. "Soyuz is designed for accomplishing the return in any conditions", Battiston said in a video address on Thursday.

The pair lifted off as scheduled at 2.40pm local time from the Baikonur cosmodrome on a Soyuz booster rocket.

Both men escaped unscathed and feel fine, Roscosmos has said.

A Russian space industry source was cited by the Interfax news agency as saying that there was enough food onboard the space station to last until April of next year.

But he said a replacement space station crew would need to be in place before SpaceX or Boeing demo launches next year.

NASA has not provided much detail about the failure, but confirmed in a tweet that there was a problem with booster separation.

In total Soyuz rockets have been launched 745 times of which 21 have failed.

Thirteen of those failures have been since 2010, calling into question the continued reliability of the rocket.

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Russian space officials said Hague and Rogozin will spend a couple of days at Star City, Russia's main space training centre outside Moscow, undergoing routine medical checks. An investigation into that anomaly and how the hole was formed is also underway.

The Russian space program has suffered several failures in recent years.

How do you make an emergency landing in a Soyuz rocket?

One potential problem: The spacecraft that would let the ISS crew return to Earth, which docked at the station in June, is equipped with batteries that lose power after about 200 days, Nasa said. Such a landing is created to decelerate rapidly to bring the astronauts back to the ground, meaning it takes a steep angle of descent and can put the astronauts under extreme gravitational forces, up to eight times normal gravity, as Joe Pappalardo at Popular Mechanics reports.

The problem came as the rocket was traveling about 4,700 miles per hour (7,563 kph), just 119 seconds into the voyage, according to NASA. This caused the capsule to drop very sharply into the Earth's atmosphere.

They set the trajectory for the flight, and if they aren't running at full capacity could send the rocket in completely the wrong direction.

Historically, failures have plagued many launch vehicles. That leaves NASA dependent on Russian Federation and its Soyuz rockets until then. Roscosmos sent more than 70 rocket engines back to production lines to replace faulty components.

Dramatic footage showed the capsule carrying the crew thumping down in a plume of dust, minutes after it launched.

A recording of communications between the space station and NASA stated that Hague and Ovchinin had experienced 6.7 G's - about the same as Apollo astronauts felt during reentry, according to Air and Space magazine.

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