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Booster Failure Causes Soyuz Mission Abort

Thursday 11 October 2018

MOSCOW (Interfax) — A Soyuz capsule carrying a U.S. astronaut and Russian cosmonaut completed an emergency landing in Russia on Oct. 11 about 40 min. after the first ballistic abort in the history of the International Space Station (ISS) program.

The crew of the failed Soyuz MS-10 mission have been removed from the landing capsule by PEM-1 vehicles and are in good health, the Central Military District said in a statement. The crew will be transported to Baikonur, a source at the cosmodrome told Interfax. First reports indicate astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in “good condition” and in contact with search-and-rescue teams sent to recover them, NASA spokeswoman Brandi Dean said.

The debris of the Soyuz could have fallen 30-50 km away from the Kazakh city of Zhezkazgan, Chairman of the Kazakh Interior Ministry’s Emergency Situations Committee Vladimir Bekker said.

The booster anomaly was identified about 3 min., 15 sec. after lift-off at 4:40 AM Eastern time, triggering a ballistic re-entry of the capsule and subjecting the crew to higher-than-normal G forces.

“It is a known mode of descent that crewmembers have gone through before”, Dean said.

The booster anomaly has not been identified or described. Kazakhstan and Russia will set up a joint commission to probe the Soyuz MS-10 accident, said Vladimir Bekker.

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