2 SURVIVE ROCKET WRECK
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.