Astronauts Nick Hague and Alexey Ovchinin have been forced to return to Earth in “ballistic descent mode” after their Soyuz rocket’s booster malfunctioned shortly after launch, NASA announced Thursday.
“The Soyuz capsule is returning to Earth via a ballistic descent, which is a sharper angle of landing compared to normal,” the agency tweeted. “Search and rescue teams are heading towards the expected touchdown location of the spacecraft and crew.”
The latest from NASA is that search and rescue teams are in contact with the two astronauts, who are “in good condition.”
The crew was scheduled to fly to the International Space Station and stay there for six months. There’s no word on what, exactly, caused the Soyuz’s booster to malfunction.