What Happened: A U.S. astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut have been picked up by rescuers after a malfunction in their Soyuz rocket's booster forced them to make an emergency landing, the BBC reported Oct. 11.
Why It Matters: The incident is believed to be the first failure since 1983 of a Soyuz spacecraft, which was designed during the Soviet era and has seen regular use since. The malfunction and emergency landing demonstrate the continued deterioration of Russia's space program.
Background: After the malfunction, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov announced a temporary suspension of manned missions under his country's space program, which has suffered 13 technical failures since 2010.
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