Soyuz launch to ISS aborted after booster failure

Soyuz launch to ISS aborted after booster failure

Russian news agencies reported that booster rockets carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft on a mission headed for the International Space Station failed mid-air, forcing the crew to abort the flight and make the landing.

The two crew members were "alive and set to land in Kazakhstan", Russian media reported.

The capsule went into "ballistic descent mode" after the problem occurred, she said.

The Kremlin confirmed the men had survived.

The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Search and rescue crews are on their way to the Soyuz capsule, and were likely to reach it by 11.30pm, NZ time.

"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.

"Shortly after launch, there was an issue with the booster". NASA said search and rescue crews were en route to the projected landing site, expecting to arrive in about 90 minutes.

A Soyuz rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:40 a.m.

Today's flight is the first space mission for Hague, who joined NASA's astronaut corps in 2013.

Ovchinin spent six months on the station in 2016.