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Rocket carrying two astronauts to International Space Station makes emergency landing

11 October 2018

The Russian Soyuz rocket carrying two crewmembers suffered a booster malfunction during launch in Kazakhstan.

"The crewmembers of Expedition 57 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, humanity's only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory", NASA officials said in a statement.

Russian and USA space officials said the crew made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan at an unspecified time.

"Teams have been in contact with the crew".

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NASA's Nick Hague, flying for the first time, and Aleksey Ovchinin of Roscosmos blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan just before 10am.

A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around a kilometre away said it had gone smoothly in its initial stages and that the failure of the booster rockets must have occurred at higher altitude. They were scheduled to dock with the space station later Thursday and spend six-months there.

NASA confirmed the crew had landed safely back on earth at 8.23pm (AEST). Search and rescue crews were getting ready to reach the expected landing site. It is not clear at this time if that flight will be delayed as a result of the Soyuz MS-10 failure Thursday.

Rocket carrying two astronauts to International Space Station makes emergency landing