In August, astronauts saw a slight drop in pressure on the International Space Station. Although they were not an immediate risk, they investigated and discovered a hole in the interior of the Soyuz module, which is currently hooked to the space station. Astronauts Sergei Prokopiev and Alexander Gerst refurbished the 0.07 inch (2 mm) hole with material soaked with an epoxy sealant. The pressure is quickly normalized on the space station, then the task of the patch.
But as they studied the hole in the Soyuz capsule, astronauts can not understand what created it. It was initially thought that the micrometeorite could collide with the vessel. However, the Russian authorities said that a few days after opening the hole, according to its shape, it seemed to be broken. This has led to speculation that perhaps someone has purposefully created the hole, causing rumors of sabotage.
"It was made by human hand, there are traces of a drill, sliding on the surface, we do not reject any theories," said Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, to the state news agency TASS.
Okol Kononenko and Sergey Prokopiev began a six-hour space flight to explore the outer shell of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, which is used to transport astronauts to and from the Earth.
They will collect samples of all residuals found in the housing module shell. For this purpose, they plan to cut out a 10-inch (25 centimeter) sample of thermal insulation and a shield for waste on the shell. They will also collect images and videos to support the investigation. Then the cosmonauts will put a new thermal blanket on the hole to make sure they are completely sealed. Excerpts, data, and photos taken from the outburst will be returned to Earth and analyzed by Russian specialists. They hope that the evidence gathered during this cosmic conversation will finally solve the mystery of what created the hole.
The crew on board the space station, after detecting and repairing the running water, frequently performs leak detection and pressure measurements to make sure the leakage remains sealed and the space station pressure remains normal. So far, the capsule has remained secure and the pressure on the space station has been preserved.
The Soyuz Spacecraft will be used to return the Earth to astronauts Sergei Prokopiev, Alexander Gerst and Serena Onion-chancellor in eight days.