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Crew of Soyuz rocket survive emergency landing after engine problem

AFP  |  Moscow 

The two-man crew of a rocket made a successful emergency landing Thursday after an engine problem on lift-off to the International Space Station, in a major setback for the beleaguered Russian space industry.

US and Russian were rescued without injuries in

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

The pair are in contact with ground control, the space agency said.

Over the past few years the Russian space industry has suffered a series of problems including the loss of a number of satellites and other The rocket was launched was from the Baikonur cosmodrome in at 0210 IST.

"The launch had a problem with the booster (rocket) a few seconds after the first stage separation and we can confirm now that the crew has started to go into ballistic descent mode," the voiceover on a NASA livestream from mission control in said.

The NASA later said the crew was in good condition and communicating with rescue workers after landing east of the Kazakh city of

The descent was sharper than usual meaning the crew was subjected to a greater G-force, but they have been prepared for this scenario in training, the said.

A source in the Russian space agency told AFP that rescue workers had reached the crew.

The Kremlin confirmed the men had survived. Russian told journalists: "Thank God the cosmonauts are alive". Roscosmos's of the launch cut out shortly after lift-off.

Former military pilots Ovchinin and Hague were set to join of the European Space Agency, NASA's and of following a six-hour flight.

The - a rare point of cooperation between and - has been orbiting the Earth at roughly 28,000 kilometres per hour since 1998 and will mark its 20th birthday in November.

Hague was born in the same year the and the launched their first joint space mission, the Apollo-Soyuz, or in 1975.

Dmitry Rogozin, a who this year was appointed by to head Roscosmos, said on he had ordered a state commission to probe the accident.

Rogozin was flying to the scene of the emergency landing, the space agency said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, October 11 2018. 17:00 IST