Two astronauts have crash landed on the ground after a major malfunction with a rocket carrying them to International Space Station. The capsule carrying the crew went into “ballistic descent mode” as it headed towards the ground for a crash landing, crew have said. Footage from inside the Soyuz showed the two astronauts inside being shaken around at the moment the failure occurred, with their arms and legs flailing.Emergency search and rescue crews are headed to the location of the landing, Nasa said. Astronauts had made their way safely to the ground and are in communication with the rescue forces. But it will take some time to actually reach them where they are, after the emergency landing. The major operation was triggered when flight controllers found a problem with the booster that was set to carry them up to the space station.It was then that the astronauts conducted an emergency landing by separating from the booster and switching into ballistic descent mode. That means the rocket comes in at a much sharper angle than normal, allowing the craft to head as quickly as possible to the ground. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled on Thursday afternoon from the Russia-controlled Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket. They were to dock at the orbiting outpost six hours later, but the booster suffered a failure minutes after the launch. The crew on board the International Space Station have been informed of the emergency, Nasa said.Photo Credit: Getty
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