Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Russian Cosmonauts Investigate Mysterious Hole In ISS During Six-Hour Space Walk

Russian Cosmonauts Investigate Mysterious Hole In ISS During Six-Hour Space Walk

"There's nothing, that's the problem", Kononenko said ahead of the outing.

Back in August, the station crew patched the hole in the Soyuz capsule, plugging it with epoxy and gauze. "All along, mission control in Moscow pleaded with them to take it slow so they wouldn't make the situation worse".

The 2mm cavity on the Soyuz spaceship docked at the ISS caused an air leak detected in August, two months after the craft's last voyage.

The hole appeared as a black mark or spot on the exposed metal skin of the Soyuz spacecraft.

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said in October that an investigation had ruled out a manufacturing error.

And because this particular module of the capsule will split off and burn up on re-entry back to Earth, they wanted to analyse their fix job from the outside and scrape off some samples of the epoxy to return to Earth and study. But Russian officials stated a few days after the hole was discovered that, based on its shape, it looked to have been drilled.

The Russian space agency is reportedly still in the midst of its investigation into the hole and its origins.

He had said earlier that Russian Federation did not exclude "deliberate interference in space".

From that point on they used a GoPro camera to film the hole and fumbled with scissors in their oversized gloves as they cut off a bit of the sealant to bag and send back to Earth.

Russians Sergei Prokopyev and Oleg Kononenko spotted the tiny hole in the external hull of the Soyuz capsule, more than five hours into their grueling spacewalk.

Kononenko arrived at the ISS on a Soyuz MS-11 spacecraft last Tuesday, along with NASA's Anne McClain and the Canadian Space Agency's David Saint-Jacques, weeks after the previous launch had to be aborted shortly after takeoff.

The spacewalk was the fourth for Kononenko and the second for Prokopyev.

The hole was repaired on the same day restoring the hermetic integrity of the ISS. The hole is in a section that will not be used for the return journey to Earth on December 20.

George Washington University space policy expert John Logsdon told NPR in September that there is "a kind of generalized concern about the decline of quality control in Russian space industry in recent years".

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