Astronauts on board a Soyuz rocket heading to the International Space Station survived an emergency landing following a booster failure, a Russian space official said Thursday. “The crew landed,” Dmitry Rogozin, director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, said on Twitter. “All are alive.” The rocket was transporting NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos for a six-month stay on the ISS.
NASA said its support teams had reached the location where the crew touched down. Dramatic footage showed the capsule carrying the crew as it parachuted back to Earth before thumping down in a plume of dust in Kazakhstan, about 250 miles away from where it took off.
The rocket had lifted off minutes earlier, at 4:40 a.m. from the country’s Baikonur Cosmodrome on a journey that was expected to involve four orbits of the Earth and take six hours.