Astronauts Forced To Make Emergency Landing After Rocket Failure

Two astronauts from the US and Russia have been forced to make an emergency landing after the Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station failed after launch.

The capsule, carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos' Alexei Ovchinin, went into "ballistic descent mode",  a sharper angle of landing compared to normal, as it headed towards the ground, NASA said.

The pair lifted off as scheduled at 2.40pm Thursday (local time) from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with a plan to dock at the orbiting outpost some six hours later.

Just minutes after the launch however, the booster suffered a failure.

"The Soyuz capsule has landed back on Earth carrying two crew members," NASA said on Twitter just before 8:30pm AEST.

"Search and rescue teams are in contact with the crew and are en route to the landing location."

NASA said the search and rescue team had reported the astronauts were in "good condition".

The crew on board the International Space Station have been notified of the emergency.

Featured image: Getty

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