Russia has launched an investigation into the failed launch of a Soyuz rocket ferrying a crew to the International Space Station (ISS) which resulted in an emergency landing Thursday.
“Telemetry is being studied,” Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin said in a statement. “Rescue services worked from the first second of the accident.”
NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are in what NASA director Jim Bridenstine described as “good condition” after surviving an emergency landing following a booster failure on the rocket carrying them to the ISS.
“I’m grateful that everyone is safe,” Bridenstine said on Twitter.
NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, pledged a thorough investigation after the aborted launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket. But the incident highlights recent tensions that have surfaced in a long-running collaboration in space between the US and Russia.
Kenny Todd, International Space Station Operations Integration Manager, said a Russian investigative commission will be “tasked with trying to understand exactly what happened and what recovery efforts are needed in order to get flying again.”
“We’ll expect to hear some details on that over the next few days from our Russian colleagues,” he told reporters. “We feel confident that our Russian colleagues will figure out what’s going on.”
The rocket was transporting Hague and Ovchinin from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-month stay on the International Space Station. NASA currently depends on Russian Soyuz launch systems to ferry crew members to the station.
Collaboration between the US and Russian space agencies has largely steered clear of geopolitical controversies, despite a standoff between Washington and Moscow that has continued since Russia’s annexation of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.