Russian rocket carrying crew malfunctions after launch

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – The launch of the Russian Soyuz rocket, which was meant to transport a new crew to the International Space Station (ISS), failed because of the carrier malfunction, according to the Russian space corporation.

The spacecraft started its flight on Thursday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with two astronauts — Russian Alexey Ovchinin and US Nick Hague — on board.

The Mission Control Center lost the connection with the spacecraft just 360 seconds after the liftoff, Roscosmos said.

The security systems detected the problem in the first-stage booster. The rocket lost the speed and the pressure necessary for the delivery of the spacecraft on the Earth's orbit which resulted in the spacecraft destruction.

The capsule with the astronauts landed undamaged in the eastern part of Kazakhstan. Both Ovchinin and Hague are alive and received no injuries, the Russian space corporation said.

It has launched an investigation to ascertain the cause of the malfunctioning.