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Rocket Failure Forces Ejection of Astronauts Headed to International Space Station [VIDEO]

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Two astronauts have been safely recovered after the Russian Soyuz rocket they were riding to the International Space Station suffered a failure that resulted in the termination of the mission mid-flight. The escape capsule deployed successfully, and the crew made a dramatic reentry from an estimated height of 164,000 feet at speeds of 4,970 mph.

American Nick Hague and Russian Aleksey Ovchinin landed safely in the desert of Kazakhstan after a “ballistic re-entry.” The reason for the failure remains uncertain, though NASA has indicated that the second stage of the Soyuz rocket failed just after the four primary boosters had been jettisoned.

Footage of the astronauts in flight showed that the capsule began shaking violently. The audio was lost, briefly, and then the camera was switched to the inside of the control room in Baikonur Cosmodrome, Russia.

At that point, automatic procedures for the evacuation of the astronauts were implemented and the pod was ejected.

This failure is uncommon for the Soyuz system. In the last 50 years, the rockets have been used 745 times. Only 21 of those suffered failures.

“Search and rescue teams were scrambled to the touchdown location as NASA revealed the descent meant the Russian-built Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft had to take ‘a sharper angle of landing compared to normal’,” The Daily Mail writes.

The failure means that the crew on the ISS now will have to wait a bit longer for relief in the way of extra personnel and supplies.

NASA’s Nick Hague and Russian Aleksey Ovchinin were slated to spend 6 months on board the ISS.

A spokesperson for NASA reports that both men are in “good condition.”

“There’s been an issue with the booster from today’s launch. Teams have been in contact with the crew,” NASA tweeted. The video below captures some of the tension in the control room when the fate of the crew seemed uncertain. As is typical in these moments, those watching the video were are of the problem long before the mission narrator, who seemed about 30 seconds behind.

“The capsule is returning via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal. Search and rescue teams are heading towards the expected touchdown location of the spacecraft and crew.”

No word yet on when another mission might be attempted.