While Russian rockets had earned a stellar reputation for their reliability in the past, a string of failed launches in recent years has called into doubt Russia's ability to maintain the same high standards of their manufacturing.
USA and Russian space officials said NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin were safe after an emergency landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan following the failure early Thursday of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station.
About 34 minutes elapsed from the time the rocket failed to when the capsule finally parachuted to a landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan, where rescue crews swiftly picked up the pair.
Roscosmos has announced the initial results of its investigation into the Soyuz MS-10 launch failure. The Soyuz was supposed to discard its first stage booster, whose fuel was empty. It was not clear why the two stages had collided, Krikalev said, saying it was possible the rocket had changed trajectory slightly.
Investigators needed a lot more information before they could provide a detailed cause, such as whether a part had malfunctioned, Krikalev added.
NASA and Roscosmos officials say they are launching an investigation into exactly what went wrong with the rocket and why. A state commission has been established to investigate the incident.
Nasa astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely and rescue crews who raced to locate them on the Kazakh steppe quickly linked up with them, the U.S. space agency and Russia's Roscosmos said.More news: In Oval Office Remarks, Kanye West Defends His Backing of Trump
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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. "They might need different skills now", he said in a Periscope video. 2018, agency leader Dmitry Rogozin, center, embraces cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin, left, and USA astronaut Nick Hague at Star City, Russia, a space training center outside Moscow. "Both are ready to fly again", he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said Russian Federation would fully share all relevant information with the USA, which pays up to $82 million per ride to the space station. Roscosmos chief, Dmitry Rogozin, didn't make things much easier after stating that the tiny hole may have been an act of deliberate sabotage. "We are planning their flight for the spring next year", Rogozin wrote, posting a photograph of himself with his arms around the two men aboard a plane.
The Soviet-designed Soyuz rocket is now the world's only lifeline to the International Space Station and the accident will affect both Nasa and the work of the orbiting laboratory.
It's been an interesting couple of months for Russia's space program.
An American astronaut and his Russian counterpart survived an emergency landing after their rocket failed midair during launch and careened back to Earth in the skies above Kazakhstan yesterday morning. Russian Federation has launched an investigation and suspended all launches of manned spacecraft until the probe is complete.