About two minutes after launching, the three-stage Soyuz booster rocket suffered an unspecified failure of its second stage.
Gerst took the opportunity to point out that the Soyuz spacecraft is "an unbelievable vehicle", as it was able to save the crew after its booster failure.
While the two men landed safely, the aborted mission dealt another blow to the troubled Russian space program.
The Russian space agency also sent 70 rocket engines back to production lines in 2016 to replace broken parts.
The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the International Space Station following the retirement of the US space shuttle fleet.
Hague was born in the same year the USA and the Soviet Union launched their first joint space mission, the Apollo-Soyuz, or Soyuz-Apollo mission in 1975.
Russian Federation has continued to rely on Soviet-designed booster rockets to launching commercial satellites, as well as crews and cargo to the International Space Station.
For the crew in the capsule, events would have happened very quickly, NASA's deputy chief astronaut Reid Wiseman told reporters at Johnson Space Centre in Houston.
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The Russian space agency Roscosmos tweeted that it's creating a formal commission to investigate the rocket failure. Officials are also investigating the unusual hole recently found in a Soyuz spacecraft aboard the International Space Station.
During a news conference on Thursday, International Space Station Operations Integration Manager Kenny Todd said that should the crew need to leave the station before a replacement crew could be sent up, the station could be piloted remotely.
"Teams have been in contact with the crew".
While it no longer has a shuttle program, the US does still send supply rockets up to the station.
Luckily, these crew members will not be stranded on the space station, as they will return to earth in the capsules they traveled to the station in.
It is not clear how long the Soyuz vehicle will be grounded, or how long the current crew can remain in orbit.
Doomed: The rocket booster with space ship blasts offabout. But it was not the first time that a manned Soyuz rocket has been forced to activate its launch abort system.
Before launch, Glover made a presentation about the mission, boasting about the reliability of the Russian-made Soyuz rocket the two were to launch in.
But the most important thing is that the emergency abort procedure worked-the astronauts are alive. SpaceX, for example, has had a number of mishaps. In 2015, CRS-7 launched a Dragon capsule on a Falcon 9 rocket to resupply the space station, but the second stage exploded. Luckily, no astronauts have been harmed in these explosions, as none of these missions have so far been crewed. The launch was proceeding normally until the first mention of booster failure at about the 3:30 mark.