NASA says two astronauts from the U.S. and Russia are en route to Moscow after an emergency landing following the failure of a booster rocket carrying them to the International
NASA posted pictures of NASA astronaut Nick Hague, the son of former Gering Superintendent Don Hague and his wife Beverly, and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin undergoing a medical check-up at Dzhezkazgan’s airport. They are to be flown to the Baikonur cosmodrome and then on to Star City space training center
One of the pictures showed Hague smiling and another had him sitting next to Russia’s space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin.
U.S. and Russian space officials said the astronauts are in good condition after Thursday’s aborted launch. They endured higher than usual G-force during the emergency landing but they trained to endure such loads.
International Space Station commander Alexander Gerst says he is grateful the astronauts are doing well after their aborted launch.
Gerst, a European Space Agency astronaut from Germany, tweeted from orbit after the failed launch: “Spaceflight is hard. And we must keep trying for the benefit of humankind.”
Hague and Ovchinin were supposed to spend the next half year aboard the International Space Station.
Gerst wrote that the mishap shows “what an amazing vehicle the Soyuz is, to be able to save the crew from such a failure.”
A senior Cabinet official says that Russia is suspending manned space launches pending a probe into a Russian booster rocket failure minutes after the launch.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters all manned launches will be suspended pending an investigation into the cause of the failure. Borisov added that Russia will fully share all relevant information with the U.S.