2 SUR­VIVE ROCKET WRECK

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY DAVID BOROFF

Two as­tro­nauts, in­clud­ing one from the U.S., sur­vived an emer­gency land­ing in the grass­lands of Kaza­khstan early Thurs­day fol­low­ing the fail­ure of a Rus­sian booster rocket that was to take them to the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion.

Their cap­sule landed about 12 miles east of the city of Dzhezkaz­gan in Kaza­khstan. NASA as­tro­naut Nick Hague and Roscos­mos' Alexei Ov­chinin were res­cued and are in good con­di­tion, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cials.

"Thank God, the crew is alive," Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

The as­tro­nauts lifted off as sched­uled from the Rus­sia-leased Baikonur cos­mod­rome in Kaza­khstan, but their Soyuz booster shut down shortly af­ter the launch.

Hague and Ov­chinin were ex­pected to dock at the space sta­tion six hours af­ter the launch. It would have been Hague's first space mis­sion. Ov­chinin spent six months on the or­bit­ing out­post in 2016.

NASA said there was an "anom­aly" with the booster "re­sult­ing in a bal­lis­tic land­ing of the space­craft."

"I'm grate­ful that ev­ery­one is safe," NASA ad­min­is­tra­tor Jim Bri­den­s­tine said.

He said a "thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion" will be con­ducted.

It was the first manned launch fail­ure for the Rus­sian space pro­gram since Septem­ber 1983 when a Soyuz ex­ploded on a launch pad. The cos­mo­nauts jet­ti­soned and were able to land safely.

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