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US-Russian Space Crew Makes Emergency Landing

October 11, 2018

A U.S.-Russian crew aboard a Soyuz spacecraft safely made an emergency return to Earth on shortly after launching on what was supposed to be a mission to the International Space Station.

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said there was an issue with the spacecraft's booster after it took off Thursday from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz separated from the booster before returning in what NASA called a "ballistic descent," which means it came in at a sharper angle than normal with the crew experiencing higher gravitational forces.

NASA said rescuers reached the crew of astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin after they landed in Kazakhstan, and both were in good condition.

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said his team is working with their Russian counterparts.

"Safety of the crew is the utmost priority for NASA. A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted," Bridenstine said in a statement.

Russian officials said all manned space flight missions would be suspended until investigators figure out what went wrong.

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