Astronauts escape malfunctioning Soyuz rocket

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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 (ISS).

Shortly after taking off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin reported a problem with the rocket’s booster.

The men were forced into a “ballistic descent”, with their capsule landing a few hundred miles north of Baikonur. They have been picked up by rescuers.

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“The search and recovery teams have reached the Soyuz spacecraft landing site and report that the two crew members… are in good condition and are out of the capsule,” US space agency Nasa said.

Russia said it was suspending any further manned flights, and an investigation into what went wrong had begun.

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