Report: Soyuz crew in serious danger

<div class="meta image-caption"><div class="origin-logo origin-image none"><span>none</span></div><span class="caption-text">Ground crew check the area around the Soyuz landing capsule after it landed in northern Kazakhstan Saturday April 19, 2008. The Soyuz capsule carrying South Korea&#39;s first astronaut landed in northern Kazakhstan Saturday, several hundred kilometers off-target, Russian space officials said. Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said the condition of the crew South Korean bioengineer Yi So-yeon, American astronaut Peggy Whitson and Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko was satisfactory, though the three had been subjected to severe G-forces during the re-entry. &#40;AP Photo&#47;Shamil Zhumatov, Pool&#41;</span></div>
April 22, 2008 8:53:19 AM PDT
A Russian news agency says the crew of the Soyuz capsule that landed in Kazakhstan this weekend after an unexpectedly severe descent was in serious danger.

Interfax quotes an unnamed space official as saying that the capsule entered the atmosphere improperly, with the hatch first, instead of with heat shields leading the way.

The official says the hatch suffered significant damage.

The official also says the capsule's antenna burned up during the descent, meaning the crew could not communicate properly.

Space officials could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday's report.

The crew, which included South Korea's first astronaut, endured severe gravitational forces because it took a steeper-than-usual trajectory.


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