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NASA astronaut flies to US after Soyuz-FG failure

NASA astronaut Nick Hague returned to Moscow from the Baikonur spaceport on October 12 after the Soyuz booster’s failure

MOSCOW, October 15. /TASS/. NASA astronaut Nick Hague, who returned to Moscow from the Baikonur spaceport on October 12 after the Soyuz booster’s failure, flew to the United States, the Cosmonaut Training Center’s press service told TASS.

"Astronaut Hague flew to the United States on Saturday. When the crew (Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and Hague) again start training in the Star City for their flight to the ISS, Hague will return to Moscow," the press service said.

Ovchinin and Hague will begin their pre-flight training after the exact date of their launch to the ISS is announced. "As soon as the date of this expedition’s launch to the ISS is defined, a schedule of their preparations for the flight and trainings will be drawn up," a spokesperson said.

Earlier, Head of Russia’s Roscosmos state space corporation Dmitry Rogozin said Ovchinin and Hague could fly into space in spring 2019.

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 veteran Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin and US astronaut Nick Hague, who was making his first space mission.

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 crew members 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.