Soyuz Space Vehicle Designed to Safely Return Crew in Any Conditions - ASI

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Russia's Interfax news agency, citing sources in Russia's space program, said the space station crew will likely have to wait until early next year before another mission can be planned to bring supplies and take them home.

The two astronauts-US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin-were reported to say they felt "weightlessness" as the crew capsule detached.

NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were aboard the spacecraft when it launched at 4:40 a.m. EDT on a mission to the station. What was expected to be a six-hour flight to the International Space Station was abruptly curtailed when the rocket reached an altitude of approximately 164,000 feet, at the cusp of space.

The rocket's emergency abort system took over at that point, ejecting the Soyuz capsule, which carried the two-man crew on a harrowing ride back down to Earth. An emergency landing protocol was initiated and their capsule landed in a field in Kazakhstan. Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of Baikonur, and spacecraft returning from the space station normally land in that region.

In 2003, when Expedition 6 crew members Ken Bowersox and Don Pettit and their cosmonaut counterpart Nikolai Budarin returned from a five-month stay aboard the ISS, their automated controls failed, forcing the re-entry in ballistic mode.

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After it became clear that the crew had landed safely, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: 'Thank God, the crew is alive'.

The descent was sharper than usual meaning the crew was subjected to a greater G-force, but they have been prepared for this scenario in training, the commentator said.

An interruption would also be disastrous for the research aboard the ISS, as the orbiting station serves as a scientific laboratory.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Larson said this event can have an impact on efforts here in Colorado to send Americans back into space on American rockets.

Russian officials said all manned space flight missions would be suspended until investigators figure out what went wrong.

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His comments come just one day after the men made a dramatic emergency landing in Kazakhstan following the failure of Russia's ambitious Soyuz rocket.

Flight controllers kept the three space station residents abreast of the situation after Thursday's aborted launch.

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

Thursday's incident is thought to be the first launch mishap for a Russian Soyuz booster since a Soyuz mission was aborted in 1983. Roscosmos has earned billions of dollars in fees ferrying astronauts into orbit since NASA retired its fleet of space shuttles in 2011.

Glitches found in Russia's Proton and Soyuz rockets in 2016 were traced to manufacturing flaws.

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The crew members then initiated a "ballistic" trajectory that put Hague and Ovchinin under more than six times the force of gravity and put the capsule into a spin.

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