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Investigation starts into dramatic Soyuz rocket breakdown

October 11, 2018 4:08 pm

Russian officials are investigating the cause of a booster problem that forced a Soyuz rocket capsule to make an emergency landing just after launch.

The two crew members, Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and American astronaut Nick Hague, are in good health, officials say.

They were heading for a six-month mission on the International Space Station when their flight was aborted.

Their capsule separated and landed 400km (250 miles) from the launch site.

What happened during the flight?
The launch appeared to be going smoothly, but some 90 seconds into the flight, the US space agency Nasa reported a problem with the booster rocket between the first and second stages separating.

Live video of the astronauts showed them shaking violently with the vibrations caused by the malfunction.

After around 114 seconds of flight, the emergency escape system sprang into action, separating the crew capsule from the rocket.