Astronaut-cosmonaut duo ready for trip to space station

At the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City Russia Expedition 55 backup crew members Nick Hague of NASA and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos pose for

An investigation will be conducted into the cause of the incident.

United States astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely and rescue crews who raced to locate them on the Kazakh steppe quickly linked up with them, according to the U.S. space agency NASA and Russia's space agency Roscosmos.

The U.S. and other nations have depended on Russian Federation to carry astronauts to the ISS since the retirement of the Space Shuttle program in 2011.

The two astronauts are making an emergency landing after a Russian booster rocket carrying them into orbit to the International Space Station has failed after launch.

Hague, who only joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013, was on his first space mission.

Private-sector solutions are now in the works, including Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon, but neither program will be ready to send humans into space until at least the winter of 2019.

The launch failure raises questions about the continued reliability of Russia's Soyuz launch system, which lost a cargo spacecraft at the end of 2016 and sent a Soyuz capsule with a hole in it to the ISS earlier this year.

Both NASA and Roscosmos have launched investigations into the matter, while engineers are attempting to find and fix the problem.

A Russian Soyuz rocket carrying two astronauts to the International Space Station failed this morning shortly after liftoff, forcing the two-man crew to make an emergency landing outside of Dzhezkazgan in central Kazakhstan.

Hague and Ovchinin are replacing NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, as well as Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, who departed ISS and returned to Earth last week. -Russian co-operation in space, voicing hope that it wouldn't be affected by politics.

They all were scheduled to return to Earth in mid-December, but may have to stay aboard the station longer.

A space walk planned for mid-November has also been cancelled, he said.

A source at the Baikonur space center told Sputnik on Thursday that all Russian manned launches had been suspended after the Soyuz accident.

Sergei Krikalyov, the head of Roscosmos' manned programs, said one of the rocket's four boosters failed to separate from the main stage.

The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying astronaut Nick Hague of the USA and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Russian Federation blasted off from the launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday - before the mission was aborted.

Moreover, both SpaceX's and Boeing's rocket programs have run into delays, as is often the case in the aerospace industry.

"What we usually do is one group comes up and another group comes down just as part of our regular crew rotation", NASA spokeswoman Kathryn Hambleton said.

A spokeswoman for the Canadian Space Agency said Thursday it has not received any information about Saint-Jacques' mission and doesn't yet know what the impact will be on his impending launch.

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