Astronaut and Cosmonaut Survive 'Ballistic' Fall to Earth After Failed Soyuz Launch

Live Science | 10/11/2018 | Staff
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NASA and Roscosmous attempted to send two new crew members to the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft early this morning (Oct. 11). The attempt went very wrong.

But NASA TV reports that astronaut Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin are "in good condition" after a booster problem resulted in their Soyuz spacecraft making an unexpected, sharp return to Earth.

Am - ET - NASA - Representative - Brandi

As of 6:09 a.m. ET, NASA representative Brandi Dean reported on NASA TV that, according to Russian officials, search and rescue teams had reached the crew and that they had emerged from the unexpectedly downed capsule. Search and rescue teams were reportedly "working with them to get them ready to leave."

Earlier, just minutes after the 4:40 a.m. ET launch, a problem occurred with one of the boosters carrying the Soyuz capsule to space from its launch site in Kazakhstan.

Soyuz - Earth - NASA - Descent - Mode

That led to the Soyuz falling back to Earth in what NASA termed "ballistic descent mode" at "a sharper angle than we would try to land via."

Nonetheless, by 5:20 a.m., Dean had reported over NASA TV that the crew had made contact with a search and rescue team and were, at least according to Russian sources, "in good condition."

Dean - Precise - Times

Dean has repeated that precise wording several times.

Russia's Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft carrying Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague, blasts off from the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome on Oct. 11, 2018. Minutes later, it had to make an emergency landing.

Dean - Sort - Crew - G-forces - Realm

According to Dean, this sort of landing would have subjected the crew to g-forces higher than what they would normally have to withstand, but was within the realm of "modes that we're familiar with" and that crews have dealt with before.

On April 19, 2008, a Russian Soyuz returned from a successful trip to the ISS in much rougher fashion than usual. The crew...
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