Astronauts to make emergency landing after booster rocket fails

Two astronauts from the US and Russia are making an emergency landing after a booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station failed after launch.

Nasa astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’s Alexei Ovchinin lifted off as scheduled at 2.40pm local time from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Soyuz booster rocket.

They were to dock at the orbiting outpost six hours later but the booster suffered a failure minutes after the launch.

US astronaut Nick Hague, top, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were due to head to the International Space Station (Yuri Kochetkov/AP)

Russian and US space officials said that the crew is heading for an emergency landing in Kazakhstan. Search and rescue crews are getting ready to reach the expected landing site.

- Press Association

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