A RUSSIAN Soyuz rocket carrying one Russian and one US astronaut has been forced to make an emergency landing after a failure was detected shortly after take-off from Kazakhstan.
Russian news agencies reported that booster rockets carrying the Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft on a mission headed for the International Space Station failed mid-air, forcing the crew to abort the flight and make the landing.
NASA's Nick Hague, flying for the first time, and Aleksey Ovchinin of Roscosmos blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan just before 10am.
They made an emergency landing in Kazakhstan, with both crew members live and talking to mission control, and not in need of medical attention.
A statement issued by NASA said: "The Soyuz MS-10 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday, October 11 (2:40 pm in Baikonur).
"Teams have confirmed the spacecraft separated from the booster and are in contact with the crew as the capsule returns in a ballistic decent mode."
A subsequent statement said: "The Soyuz capsule has landed back on Earth carrying two crew members.
"Search and rescue teams are en route to the landing location and we await further updates."