MOSCOW, October 11. /TASS/. The many years of space cooperation between Russia and the US played a major role in the astronauts’ safe escape after the Russian Soyuz rocket malfunctioned shortly after liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station, the US Embassy in Moscow said in a tweet on Thursday.
"We are pleased about the Soyuz crew’s safe landing. The extensive joint crew training program, developed thanks to the many years of open cooperation between our countries in the field of space contributed to the fortunate outcome of this incident," the embassy said.
A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday at 11:40 am (Moscow time). On board the spacecraft were Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin (the commander of the Soyuz MS-10) and NASA astronaut Nick Hague.
Shortly after liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned, forcing the crew to abort the mission and make a ballistic descent, ultimately landing in the Kazakh steppe. Rescuers evacuated the cosmonauts from the descent capsule and the crewmembers are in good condition.