Rocket carrying two astronauts to International Space Station makes emergency landing

According to local reports, the rocket has made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan, and the crew are alive.

US 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.

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

"Teams have been in contact with the crew".

Riding atop a Russian Soyuz rocket, the rookie NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m. EDT (0840 GMT; 2:40 p.m. Kazakhstan time).

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Citing Russian military sources, it said four Mi-8 helicopters had been seen heading for the landing site via Kazakh airports.

Search-and-rescue teams were headed to the area where the capsule was expected to come down for what a NASA TV announcer said was likely to be a "hard landing".

It was the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have sunk to post-Cold War lows over the crisis in Ukraine, the war in Syria and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential vote, but Russia and the United States have maintained cooperation in space.

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