Rocket carrying two astronauts to International Space Station makes emergency landing

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"The emergency rescue system worked, the vessel was able to land in Kazakhstan ... the crew are alive", Roscosmos said in a tweet.

"The crewmembers of Expedition 57 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, humanity's only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory", NASA officials said in a statement. Soyuz is now the only means for crews to travel to and from the station, with commercial crew vehicles by Boeing and SpaceX not expected to be ready to enter service before the middle of 2019.

"The crew are in good condition and in contact".

Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague walk prior to the launch of the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft.

"Shortly after launch, there was an issue with the booster".

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'The capsule is returning via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal.

"Search and rescue teams are en route to the landing location and we await further updates". They were scheduled to dock with the space station later Thursday and spend six-months there.

They set the trajectory for the flight, and if they aren't running at full capacity could send the rocket in completely the wrong direction. The first-stage of the Soyuz MS-10 launch appeared flawless until NASA reported the problem just as the crew reached orbit.

A booster can fail for any number of reasons, including incorrect fuelling, mechanical faults, computer glitches and more.

Once separated during an emergency landing, the module will fire its parachute and float back to Earth.

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