NASA has issued a statement regarding a leak affecting the International Space Station (ISS). On August 29, a mysterious 2-millimeter hole was discovered on a Soyuz capsule docked to the ISS, resulting in a pressure leak.
The Soyuz capsule last carried to the ISS cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, and astronauts Serena Auñón-Chancellor, KG5TMT, and Alexander Gerst, KF5ONO. It is scheduled to return them to Earth in December.
The hole, which appeared to have been drilled, was repaired by the crew. Roscosmos said this week that the hole was not drilled by accident, opening the possibility of sabotage. Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin earlier ruled out a manufacturing defect.
“[This] indicates that this is an isolated issue which does not categorically affect future production,” the NASA statement said. “This conclusion does not necessarily mean the hole was created intentionally or with mal-intent.”
Roscosmos has claimed the hole may have been drilled by a technician on the ground.
NASA and Roscosmos continue to investigate the incident to determine the cause, and a November spacewalk is planned in order to gather more information.
On October 11, US Astronaut Nick Hague, KG5TMV, and Russian Cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin will head to the ISS aboard a Russian Soyuz MS-10 spacecraft. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is scheduled to attend the launch and plans to meet with Rogozin at that time.