Astronauts escape malfunctioning Soyuz rocket safely
A US astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut were forced to make an emergency landing after their Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned en route to the International Space Station. Shortly after taking off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin reported a problem with the rocket’s booster. Soyuz is one of the oldest rocket designs but also one of the safest. The malfunction appeared to occur around what is termed “staging”, where the ascending vehicle goes through the process of discarding its empty fuel segments. The men were forced into a “ballistic descent”, with their capsule landing a few hundred miles north of Baikonur.