The Russian rocket Soyuz He made an emergency landing on Thursday after a failure during the launch. On the ship were two astronauts, the American Nick Hague and the Russian Alexey Ovchinin, bound for the International Space Station (ISS, for its acronym in English). The rocket took off at 08:40 (GMT) from the Baikonur cosmodrome, the largest and oldest space launch facility in the world. Later, the ship had to return and land in Kazakhstan, near Dzhezkazgan, due to a failure in the engine, according to Russian news agencies.
The rescue services quickly reached the landing area and both astronauts have left the ship and are "in good condition," NASA reports. Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, has formed a commission of inquiry into the accident.
A few minutes after takeoff there has been a problem with the launcher. The ship activated the emergency descent and descended at a steeper angle than normal, so the astronauts have been exposed to greater gravity. However, none of them is injured. "They are in good condition, taking into account the gravitational forces they have had to endure," Russian military media reported..
Hague and Ovchinin are "alive and must land in Kazakhstan," the Russian television station Rossiya 24 reported before they landed. All launches of manned missions planned by the Russian Space Agency have been canceled.
It was planned that the rocket Soyuz I went four times around the Earth to connect six hours later to the ISS. Two hours later, they had to open the floodgates and join the three astronauts who are already at the station.