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UAE astronaut not to fly to ISS in April after accident with Soyuz MS-10 — source

"He will not fly because there is no spaceship," the source said

MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. An astronaut of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who was scheduled to be sent on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in April, will not fly to space, as the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft that was supposed to return the crew to the Earth had an emergency landing in Kazakhstan, a source in the space industry told TASS on Saturday.

"In April, the Emirates’ astronaut will not definitely fly to the ISS. He will not fly because there is no spaceship. They should have returned to the Earth along with Alexei Ovchinin on board the Soyuz MS-10," he said.

Nevertheless, there have been no considerations so far that Ovchinin would replace UAE astronaut in the Soyuz MS-12 mission to the ISS. It can be explained by the fact that two Russian cosmonauts are aboard the ISS now.

"A principal decision should follow so that the ISS Russian segment can host three members. The matter is not about Ovchinin, but that there should be a transition to a complete crew," he explained.

A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft blasted off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, at 11:40 a.m. Moscow time. On board the spacecraft were Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin (the commander of the Soyuz MS-10) and NASA astronaut Nick Hague.

Following a smooth liftoff, the Soyuz’s booster malfunctioned between the first and second stages of separating, whereupon the crew was forced to abort the flight and switch to ballistic descent. The manned Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft ended up landing in the Kazakh steppe.

The press office of Russia’s Central Military District reported that rescuers recovered the crew from the descent capsule. Later, the crewmembers were examined and found to be in good condition. After their medical check-up in the town of Baikonur, the astronauts were transported to Moscow.

This is the first emergency landing with this type of carrier rocket over the past 35 years.