Space expert talks about implications of Soyuz rocket launch failure

DENVER -- Phil Larson is an accomplished space expert. The joy of space exploration he developed as a child still fuels his fire.

He watched Thurday’s two-man Soyuz rocket launch to the International Space Station with all of the optimism and anticipation of the countless other successful missions only to be disappointed in the failure of the rocket, but thankful in the safe aftermath.

Something went wrong during the separation of the booster and the capsule containing the two crew members started tumbling back down to Earth, violently shaking the men.

An emergency landing protocol was initiated and their capsule landed in a field in Kazakhstan. The crew walked away without any injuries.

Larson made his way to the University of Colorado's internationally known program with some impressive credentials himself -- having served as senior adviser in the Obama White House’s Office of Science and Technology.

Thursday’s mission was supposed to transport a Russian Cosmonaut and American Astronaut to relieve members who are already aboard the International Space Station.

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