Space craft lands miles off target

April 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm | Posted in sapce | Leave a comment
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A Soyuz capsule carrying South Korea’s first astronaut landed in northern Kazakhstan, several hundred miles off target, a Russian space official said.

Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said the Russian TMA-11 craft’s homing beacon was operating and search crews were en route to the site by helicopter and truck.

He said the craft touched down at around 0830 GMT some 260 miles off target – a highly unusual distance given how precisely engineers plan for such landings.

Russian space officials said flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko reported that the crew was fine.

The other crew members are South Korean bioengineer Yi So-yeon and American astronaut Peggy Whitson.

Officials said the craft may have followed a so-called “ballistic re-entry” – a very steep course which submits the crew to sometimes severe physical forces.

It is the second landing in a row of a Soyuz capsule that has gone awry.

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