NASA astronaut, Russian cosmonaut make emergency landing on earth

The launch of the Soyuz rocket

It was to be Hague's first flight to the station, launching at 3:40 a.m. Thursday from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.

We also get a view of the crew inside, with American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin looking very focused on what they are doing, both holding tablets in their hands.

Gerst took the opportunity to point out that the Soyuz spacecraft is "an incredible vehicle", as it was able to save the crew after its booster failure.

With the two astronauts on board now safe, ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst is giving us a new perspective on today's launch. As a result of the defect, the spacecraft would not be heading to the ISS, but instead return to Earth using a "ballistic descent mode".

This failure comes as America is working to wean itself off of its Russian rocket dependency.

This failure raises serious questions about the future of the International Space Station, as since the space shuttle's retirement in 2011 the Soyuz spacecraft and rocket were the only means by which crews have had to reach it. "We will try to speed up the launch of the next crew as much as possible, but certainly we will be trying to minimize the irregularities which caused the emergency".

Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques had been scheduled to be on the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft on December 20.

Roscosmos and Nasa said the three-stage Soyuz booster suffered an emergency shutdown of its second stage.

"An investigative group has been formed and officials are now examining the launch site, documents are being seized", the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

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Hague and Ovchinin would have joined the station's current crew, which includes American astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor.

Hague was originally scheduled to participate in spacewalks in the coming weeks to replace batteries on the outside of the space station.

Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin also praised his team, saying in a translated interview that "the crew performed fantastically". That trio arrived in June.

The last one returned to Earth on October 4, carrying NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, after their 197-day mission in space.

"The Soyuz capsule is returning to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal", NASA tweeted. But exactly when the astronauts will be sent home is still unclear.

The three astronauts now on board the space station have been informed of the failed launch and their schedule for the day is being reshuffled, since they'll no longer be able to greet the incoming duo. The crew is now being brought to Moscow. Just over a minute after the launch, the spacecraft's booster failed and the launch was aborted.

"Today's kind of successful accident shows the importance of gaining that capability back here and having multiple forms of getting into space", Larson said. A Falcon 9 exploded later in 2016 before it had even launched. And from what we know so far ... the crew's efforts, were heroic.

August 24, 2011: An onboard computer terminated a Soyuz flight about five minutes into the launch after detecting an engine failure, resulting in the loss of a Progress ship. The Soyuz was supposed to discard its first stage booster, whose fuel was empty.

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