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ISS crew forced to make emergency landing in ‘ballistic mode’ after rocket malfunctions during launch

A capsule carrying crew to the International Space Station has been forced to make an emergency landing.

The capsule is carrying astronaut Nick Hague of NASA and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

While it launched successfully at 04:40am ET aboard the Russian Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, there appears to have been a problem.

NASA tweeted: “There’s been an issue with the booster from today’s launch. Teams have been in contact with the crew.”

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The Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft launched successfully

The booster is carrying astronaut Nick Hague of NASA and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos

A follow-up tweet then read: “Teams are working with our Russian partners to obtain more information about the issue with the booster from today’s launch.”

NASA has now confirmed that the capsule carrying the astronauts returned to Earth in ‘ballistic decent mode.’

A blog by Nasa said: "Shortly after launch, there was an issue with the booster.

"Teams have confirmed the spacecraft separated from the booster and are in contact with the crew as the capsule returns in a ballistic decent mode."

Worryingly, it was initially unclear where the capsule had landed.

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The two astronauts before this morning’s launch

NASA tweeted: "Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members."

Thankfully, it appears that the astronauts are safe and well, and are in contact with the search and rescue teams.

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Nick Hague of NASA and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos

The ISS control room

NASA tweeted: "The Soyuz capsule has landed back on Earth carrying two crew members.

"Search and rescue teams are in contact with the crew and are en route to the landing location."

NASA says that it will take around an hour and a half to reach the capsule.

Speaking to NTV, cosmonaut Alexander Volkov commented: "The guys are lucky that they remained alive."

Mirror Online will be keeping you updated as news comes in.

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