A Russian Soyuz spacecraft crew launch to the International Space Station (ISS) suffered an emergency booster failure shortly after lift-off from Kazakhstan on October 11, but the crew is safe. On board the Soyuz MS-10 were US Astronaut Nick Hague, KG5TMV, and Russian Cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was in attendance at the launch in order to discuss with Russian space agency Roscosmos a mysterious hole that had apparently been drilled through the side of the last Soyuz vehicle. That spacecraft had successfully carried cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, and astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor, KG5TMT, and Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO, to the ISS last spring. In a statement, Bridenstine promised “a thorough investigation” into the cause of the October 11 aborted launch.
“Shortly after launch, there was an anomaly with the booster and the launch ascent was aborted, resulting in a ballistic landing of the spacecraft,” Bridenstine said. “Search-and-rescue teams were deployed to the landing site. Hague and Ovchinin are out of the capsule and are reported to be in good condition.” The pair was returned to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan en route to Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City. This was Hague’s first launch and Ovchinin’s second.
Bridenstine and the NASA team are monitoring the situation carefully, the space agency said, adding that NASA is working closely with Roscosmos.