NASA Astronauts to Perform a Spacewalk in November to Investigate ISS Hole

The investigation into who or what is responsible for the hole in the Soyuz MS-09 capsule, that in turn caused a small oxygen leak on the International Space Station in early September continues, but NASA seems to be growing increasingly irritated with the Russian accusations.
 Soyuz MS-09 (left) crew ship and the Progress 70 resupply ship 1 photo
Photo: NASA
Soon after the hole was discovered, Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, hinted to the fact that the hole was not caused by a micrometeorite or debris impact, but was made from the inside with a drill.

The official did not directly accuse the Americans of sabotage, but Russia media like Kommersant claimed the hole was drilled on purpose by an American astronaut so that a sick colleague could get a ride home faster.

There are no official updates on the subject from the Russian side yet, but NASA issued last week a statement saying that even if the hole is not a manufacturing defect, this “does not necessarily mean the hole was created intentionally or with mal-intent.”

To prove their point, the Americans announced they are planning a spacewalk in November to gather more information.

The heads of NASA and Roscosmos, Jim Bridenstine and Dmitry Rogozin, are scheduled to meet at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on or around October 10, before the launch of the MS-10 spacecraft carrying American Astronaut Nick Hague and Russian Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin to the ISS.

The leak problem was discovered by Russian and American Earth-based control centers on August 30, while the crew was asleep. When they woke up, the astronauts had to seal off compartments one by one to identify the source of the problem.

Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev used epoxy to plug the hole, while ground controllers used the reserves in the Progress 70 cargo ship to increase the amount of oxygen in the station.

The Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft affected by the issue will not be used to bring back astronauts from the ISS.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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