LONDON, U.K. - NASA says two astronauts from the US and Russia are being flown to Moscow after surviving an emergency landing Thursday on their way to the International Space Station.
The two-man crew waved goodbye moments before take-off in Kazakhstan. Kansas native Nick Hague gave a thumbs up for his first space mission.
Then there was the lift-off of the Soyuz MS1. Approximately two minute after the launch cameras captured what appeared to be an explosion.
There had been an issue with the booster, says NASA. They claim that there was a failure of a Russian booster rocket a few seconds after the first stage separation. This led to what is called "ballistic descent mode," which subjectied the astronauts to nearly seven times the normal force of gravity, according to NASA launch commentor Brandi Dean.
'We are now hearing that they are in communication with the rescue forces on their way to the capsule," continued Dean, "and that they are in good condition."
The capsule made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan. The crew received medical checks and are said to be feeling goo,d considering what they went through.
Russia is suspending manned space launches while investigators figure out exactly what went wrong.
Thursday's mishap was the first manned launch failure for the Russian space program since 1983, when a Soyuz exploded on the launch pad. Soviet cosmonauts ejected and landed safely nearby.