KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Florida — Manned space flights have been suspended after something went wrong during the launch of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a NASA astronaut and Russian cosmonaut Thursday, forcing the rocket back to Earth.
- Russian launch aborted minutes after liftoff from Kazakhstan
- NASA's Nick Hague, Russian Alexei Ovchinin in 'good condition'
- Russian spacecraft had to conduct 'ballistic landing'
- Spacecraft was carrying 2 to International Space Station
- ISS crew member took pictures of Russian rocket from space
Both NASA astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin returned to Earth safely minutes after the rocket launched from Kazakhstan 4:40 a.m. EDT Thursday on their way to the International Space Station.
A couple minutes after launch, Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, detected a problem with the booster rocket.
That led to the agency aborting the mission minutes after launch, and the Soyuz spacecraft then conducted a "ballistic landing."
Alexander Gerst, a German European Space Agency astronaut on board the ISS, tweeted these pictures of the rocket's failure:
The ballistic landing means the Soyuz spacecraft descended back to Earth at a steeper angle than a regular trajectory, so the two crew members experienced higher G-forces than they normally would endure.
However, they trained for that type of emergency landing.
The two Soyuz crew members appeared to be in good condition after the landing and were transported back to the launch site by a search-and-rescue helicopter.
Even though this launch happened on the other side of the world, it will have big impacts in Central Florida. Currently, America's only way to send people to space is on a Soyuz rocket.
It will not be until the middle of next year that SpaceX and Boeing will start launching humans from Florida's Space Coast.
Until then, NASA is will have to figure out what to do. There are still three crew members on board the ISS.