MOSCOW — A U.S. astronaut and his Russian crewmate arrived Friday on the Russian area middle for medical checks following awithin the steppes of Kazakhstan. NASA’s Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin blasted off to the Worldwide House Station from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, however their Soyuz rocket failed two minutes after the launch, triggering an emergency that despatched their capsule right into a steep, harrowing fall again to Earth.
U.S. and Russian area officers mentioned the astronauts had been in good situation after enduring gravitational power that was six-to-seven occasions greater than is felt on Earth.
Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin promised that Hague and Ovchinin might be given an opportunity quickly to carry out a stint on the orbiting outpost.
“The boys will definitely fly their mission,” Rogozin tweeted, posting an image during which he sits with the 2 astronauts aboard a Moscow-bound airplane. “We plan that they may fly within the spring.”
Russian area officers mentioned Hague and Rogozin will spend a few days at Star Metropolis, Russia’s most important area coaching middle outdoors Moscow, present process routine medical checks.
“They’re in good well being and do not want any medical help,” mentioned Vyacheslav Rogozhnikov, chief of the Russian Federal Medical and Organic Company.
The aborted mission dealt one other blow to the troubled Russian area program that presently serves as the one strategy to ship astronauts to the orbiting outpost.
Sergei Krikalyov, the top of Roscosmos’ manned applications, mentioned the launch went awry after one of many rocket’s 4 boosters didn’t jettison about two minutes into the flight, damaging the principle stage and triggering the emergency touchdown.
He mentioned a panel of specialists is wanting into the particular cause that prevented the booster’s separation.
“We might want to look and analyze the particular trigger – whether or not it was a cable, a pyro or a nut,” he mentioned. “We’d like extra knowledge.”
Krikalyov mentioned all Soyuz launches have been suspended pending the investigation. Preliminary findings are anticipated later this month.
There was no fast phrase on whether or not the present area station crew of an American, a Russian and a German may want to increase its personal six-month mission.
A Soyuz capsule connected to the station which they use to experience again to Earth is designed for a 200-day mission, which means that their keep in orbit might solely be prolonged briefly.
“We do not have a possibility to increase it for a very long time,” Krikalyov mentioned.
NASA mentioned flight controllers might function the area station with out anybody on board if the Russian rockets stay grounded.
Krikalyov emphasised that Roscosmos will do its finest to not go away the orbiting outpost unoccupied.
“The station might fly in an unmanned mode, however will do all we are able to to keep away from it,” he mentioned. “The conservation of the station is feasible, but it surely’s undesirable.”
Whereas the Russian program has been dogged by a string of issues with unmanned launches lately, Thursday’s incident was the primary manned failure since September 1983, when a Soyuz exploded on the launch pad.
Roscosmos pledged to completely share all related info with NASA, which pays as much as $82 million per Soyuz seat to the area station.
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