Russia suspends manned space launches

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) — A senior Cabinet official says that Russia is suspending manned space launches pending a probe into a Russian booster rocket failure minutes after the launch.

U.S. and Russian space officials said NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin are safe after an emergency landing in the steppes of Kazakhstan following the failure of a Russian booster rocket carrying them to the International Space Station.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov told reporters that the Soyuz capsule automatically jettisoned from the booster when it failed 123 seconds after the launch from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

He said all manned launches will be suspended pending an investigation into the cause of the failure. Borisov added that Russia will fully share all relevant information with the U.S.