Back in August, the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) was surprised to learn that they were responsible for a slight loss in air aboard the station.
After investigating, they learned that the cause was a small hole in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that had docked with the ISS. While the hole was promptly sealed, the cause of it remained a mystery ever since.
Conducted an "unprecedented spacewalk" on Dec. 11th.
Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev concluded that the hole had been drilled from inside the capsule.
During the course of the spacewalk, Kononenko and Prokopyev unsealed the thermal insulation and meteorite shield on the spacecraft to inspect the hole more closely.
Initially attributed to a micrometeorite, the hole was quickly determined to be the result of drilling. The hole posed no threat to the station or its crew, since it was a small drop in air pressure. Nonetheless, Serena Aunon-Chancellor (NASA.)
The results of the crew's analysis were shared ) and Alexander Gerst (European Space Agency) returned to Earth. The hole appeared in the jettisoned before re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.
As Prokopyev Indicated, the cavity started from the capsule's interior (meaning that it drilled from the inside) and that Russian law enforcement agencies are investigating what caused it. Prokopyev also dismissed rumors that the hole had been drilled deliberately, which had emerged as a result of a statement he made in September.
 At that time, Rogozin had said that they were not prepared to rule out the fact that the hole had been deliberately drilled, either when it was manufactured or while it was in orbit. This spawned rumors that the drill hole may have been part of a sabotage attempt. The rumors were further inflicted by former cosmonaut and Russian politician Maxim Suraev.
On September 4th, during a discussion about the leak in the State Duma, Suraev spoke about the possibility that mental instability could have played a role. "We're all living people, but this method is completely unworthy," he said. "If it is the cosmonaut who did it, and it can not be ruled out, then it is absolutely bad."
On September 6th, he once again explored this possibility, adding:
"But if it Happened in space, and I want to make it back to you, because you are a fool, flying in space, a mentally unstable person, because there is a vacuum, because you are You are insane, but the lives of five people are yourself. "
Rogozin has since come back and claims that the news media had twisted his words. At the time, even if sabotage was a remote possibility. During the press conference, Prokopyev also dismissed the idea that the hole could have been deliberately drilled by an astronaut. "You should not think so badly of our crew," he said.
These statements have not been made. However, both NASA and Russian authorities remain adamant that the cause of the hole remains unknown and will be fully inspected. As Prokopyev summarized during the conference,
So what's the point of the ISS crew's readiness? The way the astronauts quickly identified and confirmed the hole proved that "the crew is ready for any developments," he said. Meanwhile, operations aboard the ISS continue, with Expedition 58 commencing operations on Dec. 20.
Oleg Kononenko (who helped seal the hole in the spacewalk) and NASA astronauts Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques as flight engineers.
This article was originally published by Universe Today. Read the original article.