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Astronauts safe after failed space launch, emergency landing in Kazakhstan

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
October 11, 2018, 10:13:03 PM EDT

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Two astronauts are in good condition after a capsule carrying them to the International Space Station failed shortly after launch, forcing an emergency landing in Kazakhstan on Thursday.

American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin blasted off at 2:40 p.m. Thursday, local time, from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague, right and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, member of the main crew of the expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), walk prior the launch of Soyuz MS-10 space ship at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky, Pool)

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague, right, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station wave as they board the rocket prior to the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (Yuri Kochetkov, Pool Photo via AP)

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, flies in the sky at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

Smoke rise as the boosters of first stage of the Soyuz-FG rocket with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, separate after the launch at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

The Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-10 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

In this photo provided by Roscosmos, NASA Astronaut Nick Hague, left, and Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin sit in Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, after an emergency landing following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station. (Roscosmos via AP)

Astronaut Nick Hague, right, and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, left, embrace their families after landing in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. (Photo/NASA)


"Shortly after launch, there was an anomaly with the booster and the launch ascent was aborted, resulting in a ballistic landing of the spacecraft," the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said in a statement.

Search and rescue crews were deployed to the site where the crew made an emergency landing.

The astronauts landed at an unspecified location in Kazakhstan, were removed from the capsule and found to be in good condition, according to NASA.

Hague and Ovchinin are being transported to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center just outside of Moscow, Russia, NASA said.

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The astronauts were scheduled to spend six months at the International Space Station working on scientific experiments, according to BBC News.

"A thorough investigation into the cause of the incident will be conducted," NASA said.

Russia is suspending all manned space launches pending the investigation, according to the Associated Press.

The weather around the time of the incident was clear with light winds.

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