Rocket failure forces astronauts to make emergency landing

Rocket failure forces astronauts to make emergency landing

US and Russian crew of Soyuz spacecraft reported safe after being forced back down to Earth

A Russian-American space crew was forced to make an emergency landing in Kazakhstan after their Soyuz rocket suffered a failure shortly after launching from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in one of the most serious space incidents in recent years.

The launch began as a routine affair. Missions bound for the International Space Station (ISS) have been conducted every few months for the past 20 years. But 119 seconds into T hursday’s flight, mission controllers on the Nasa broadcast began to speak of a failure.

Related: The Apollo programme: first steps into space, 50 years on

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