Published: Fri, October 05, 2018
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

NASA Plans Spacewalk To Scrutinize Tiny ISS Hole

NASA Plans Spacewalk To Scrutinize Tiny ISS Hole

Three members of the Expedition 56 crew returned safely to Earth Thursday from the International Space Station, where they spent months providing hands-on support for scientific research in low-Earth orbit, working to keep the orbiting laboratory fully operational, and performing three spacewalks.

NASA stressed in a brief statement issued from its Washington headquarters that Dimitri Rogozin, general director of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, had in public comments this week ruled out a manufacturing defect as the cause.

The International Space Station program is tentatively planning a spacewalk for November to examine the hole from the outside.

He also wrote "spasibo" (thank you) and signed his name on the craft in chalk.

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.

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Powers said that, while intentional damage remains one of numerous possibilities still under review, "we're not expecting it was a bad actor. we don't think that's the most likely conclusion".

Russia's previously said the hole appears to have been made by a drill.

The latest development in the story comes from NASA, which issued on Wednesday a statement about the leak investigation and expressed confidence in Russia's Soyuz spacecraft. Administrator Bridenstine is scheduled to attend the launch and plans to meet with Mr. Rogozin. The space agency heads had an initial conversation about it by phone on September 12.

The capsule landed Southeast of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

Feustel on Wednesday turned over command of the station to European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst of Germany. NASA says it hopes to sort the problem out then.

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