Russian Federation suspends space launches pending probe into rocket failure — NewsAlert

Russia suspends manned space program after Soyuz rocket makes emergency landing

Russia suspends manned space program after Soyuz rocket makes emergency landing

The crew landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan, but the aborted mission dealt another blow to the troubled Russian space program that now serves as the only link to deliver astronauts to the orbiting outpost. It also was the first such accident for Russia's manned program in over three decades.

American astronaut Nick Hague (right) and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin speak before taking off aboard a Soyuz MS-10 capsule to the International Space Station, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on October 11, 2018.

About a half-hour later, the capsule parachuted onto a barren area about 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of the city of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the most important thing was that the two men were alive. He added that a "thorough investigation" will be conducted.

Roscosmos, which oversees the Russian space program, tweeted a photo of Hague and Ovchinin being examined in Zhezkazgan.

The International Space Station - a rare point of cooperation between Moscow and Washington - has been orbiting the Earth since 1998. That in turn had hindered the separation of the first stage of the rocket from its second stage. "Clearly they're going to have to consider what options they have in regard to that, but we don't have any decisions on that yet", Humphries said of the spacewalks.

But even the space station has proved a source of controversy in recent weeks.

Hague is a colonel in the Air Force.

The astronauts were returned to Baikonur for medical checks and to see their families.

Three astronauts are now on board the space station: NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev and European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst. Ovchinin spent six months on the orbiting outpost in 2016.

The head of Russia's top space medicine center says that two astronauts from the US and Russian Federation are feeling good after an emergency landing.

In May, Putin tapped Rogozin to manage the space agency in a move that analysts said spelled trouble for the sector. "Spaceflight is hard. And we must keep trying for the benefit of humankind".

"The boys have landed", Mission Control assured the space station crew. Hague was supposed to be one of the spacewalkers.

Russian officials said they were launching a criminal investigation into the accident, the first such incident on a manned flight in the country's post-Soviet history. Their Soyuz capsule is good for about 200 days in orbit, period.

The hole was detected in August and quickly sealed up, but Russian newspapers said Roscosmos was probing the possibility that United States crewmates had sabotaged the space station to get a sick colleague sent back home.

It could operate like that for a long time, barring a major equipment failure, he added.

An unmanned Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule is scheduled for launch in January 2019, with a similar manned launch set for June 2019. Todd says someone has to be on board for the arrival of the commercial demo missions, for safety reasons. The emergency is the latest mishap for the Russian space programme, which has been dogged by a string of launch failures and other incidents in recent years. Borisov added that Russian Federation will fully share all relevant information with the U.S.

"I hope that the American side will treat it with understanding", he said.

Space is an area of cooperation between the United States and Russian Federation at a time of fraught relations.

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the space station following the retirement of the US space shuttle fleet.

The malfunction could cause trouble for NASA as the agency is waiting for both Boeing and SpaceX to deliver homegrown spacecraft so it no longer has to rely on Russian Federation to send supplies and crew to the ISS.

In August 1983, Soyuz 7K-ST No.16L meant to visit the Salyut 7 space station had an on-pad abort when the capsule pulled away from an exploding booster. Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin raised wide concern by saying the leak was a drill hole that was made intentionally during manufacturing or in orbit. However, exactly when that crew will return to Earth is uncertain, as it may depend on when their relief arrives at the space station.

"It's an unpleasant situation", Titov told the Tass news agency Thursday. "The fact that this crew didn't get to orbit, we feel bad for them". Search and rescue crews are getting ready to reach the expected landing site.

The descent was sharper than usual, meaning the crew were subjected to a greater G-force, but they were prepared for this scenario in training, according to a commentator on NASA's video livestream of the launch.

A Progress rocket was lost in the atmosphere in December 2016.