U.S.-Russian Crew Safe After Soyuz Launch Emergency Forces ‘Ballistic Descent’

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A space capsule carrying a two-man Russian-American crew that malfunctioned after liftoff has landed safely in Kazakhstan, the Russian and U.S. space agencies say.

Russian cosmonaut Aleksei Ovchinin and U.S. astronaut Nick Hague returned to Earth in their Soyuz capsule for an emergency landing following a problem with the booster rocket shortly after a launch bound for the International Space Station (ISS), a NASA TV announcer said on October 11.

Both NASA, the U.S. space agency, and Roskosmos, the Russian equivalent, said the astronauts were in good condition after their capsule landed about 20 kilometers east of the Kazakh city of Zhezqazghan.

“The cosmonauts are alive. They have landed. They have been found,” a source at the Russia-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan said.

The crew had to return in “ballistic descent mode,” NASA said, which it explained was “a sharper angle of landing compared to normal.”

Hague and Ovchinin were due to spend six months on the ISS.

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Author: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

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