NASA investigates space station hole, plans spacewalk

The drill hole in the Russian Soyuz MS-09 crew craft

Modal Trigger The drill hole in the Russian Soyuz MS-09 crew craft. NASA

"The agreement is expected to be signed in the near future", the source said.

Referring only to Russian media reports, NASA's statement on Wednesday noted that Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency, has said manufacturing defects weren't behind the problem. "It concluded that a manufacturing defect had been ruled out which is important to establish the truth", said the man who leads the nation's space agency.

NASA has issued an update about the leak that was discovered on the International Space Station a little more than a month ago - and it suggests the event is not as serious as some have feared.

Two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut returned to Earth on Thursday wrapping up a six-month mission at the International Space Station as tensions between Washington and Moscow threaten a rare area of cooperation.

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Roscosmos and NASA have now both opened their own investigations of the hole, which was 2mm wide and appeared in August on a Russian Soyuz capsule. While intentional damage remains one of numerous possibilities still under review. The hole was thought to have been caused by a small meteorite and was easily patched, but that was not even close to the end of the story.

Powers added: 'We will find the reason and we will reveal the reason no matter what it is'. Their tour of duty in space amounted to 197 days, highlighted by three spacewalks undertaken by Feustel and Arnold to replace and upgrade space station equipment.

That suggests the hole was "an isolated issue", NASA said, not one expected to reappear on the next Soyuz, which is scheduled to launch October 11 from Kazakhstan with NASA's Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin.

Administrator Bridenstine is scheduled to attend the launch and plans to meet with Mr. Rogozin.

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