Rocket fail­ure forces crew to abort trip

Business Day - - INTERNATIONAL - Agency Staff /AFP

A two-man crew bound for the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion was forced to make an emer­gency land­ing when a Soyuz rocket failed shortly af­ter blast-off on Thurs­day. The in­ci­dent is a ma­jor set­back for Rus­sia’s be­lea­guered space in­dus­try.

US as­tro­naut Nick Hague and Rus­sian cos­mo­naut Alek­sey Ov­chinin were res­cued with­out in­jury in Kaza­khstan. The manned space­craft in­ci­dent is the first of its kind in Rus­sia’s post-Soviet his­tory.

The Rus­sian space in­dus­try has suf­fered a se­ries of prob­lems in re­cent years, in­clud­ing the loss of a num­ber of satel­lites and other space­craft.

“The emer­gency res­cue sys­tem worked, the ves­sel was able to land in Kaza­khstan ... the crew are alive,” the Rus­sian space agency Roscos­mos said in a tweet.

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