Soyuz MS-10: Russian spacecraft makes emergency landing on Earth

Rocket carrying space station crew fails in mid-air, crew forced to make emergency landing

USA astronaut Nick Hague, right, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station wave as they board the rocket prior to the launch.

The two crew members were "alive and set to land in Kazakhstan", Russian media reported.

Riding atop a Russian Soyuz rocket, the rookie NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT; 2:40 p.m. Kazakhstan time).

The crew were returning to Earth in "a ballistic descent mode", according to Nasa. Soyuz is now the only means for crews to travel to and from the station, with commercial crew vehicles by Boeing and SpaceX not expected to be ready to enter service before the middle of 2019.

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The space agency tweeted: "There's been an issue with the booster from today's launch". The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft has made an emergency landing.

NASA has confirmed both astronauts are in good condition, while a Russian news agency said neither of the men required any immediate medical help.

Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location, Nasa added. Dzhezkazgan is about 450 kilometers (280 miles) northeast of Baikonur.

Paratroopers will parachute to the landing site of the Soyuz capsule, Reuters reported, citing military officials.

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