Space travel is very dangerous for a myriad of reasons. Both the US and Russia have lost astronauts to accidents and failures of equipment during launch and reentry. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft was set to head to the ISS this week on a resupply mission with two astronauts onboard.
The booster failure occurred mid-air less than two minutes after lifting off. When the booster failed, the crew aboard the Soyuz had occasion to use their emergency training. The crew module was separated from the failed booster and was forced to initiate an emergency landing.
Both crewmembers aboard the Soyuz are alive and unharmed. The capsule made what is termed a “ballistic re-entry.” That means that the capsule was under no power of its own and the only forces on the spacecraft were drag and gravity.
The failed mission was Expedition 57 and it was to transport Roscosmos’ Aleksey Ovchinin and NASA astronaut Nick Hague to the ISS. The capsule the two were in was a Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft. It’s unclear at this time what exactly happened to cause the failure.
NASA has stated that it is working with Russian partners to obtain more information on what happened. The mission was bringing a 3D bio-printer to the ISS that scientists were planning to use for growing human organs and tissue in zero gravity.