Soyuz rocket makes emergency landing

Both pilots reported to be safe

Chennai: Booster rockets carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and a US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed mid-air, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing, Russian news agencies have reported.

The Soyuz rocket and its Soyuz MS-10 space capsule lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at about 4:47 a.m. EDT (0847 GMT) with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin aboard. The pair were due to join the three-person Expedition 57 crew already aboard the International Space Station. But something went wrong minutes after liftoff, sending the Soyuz capsule into a ballistic re-entry, NASA officials said.

According to local reports, the rocket has made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan, and the crew are alive.

Search and Rescue teams have been deployed to the landing site, and the crew report they are in “good condition,” NASA said on Twitter.