Roscosmos, NASA didn’t create joint commissions to examine Soyuz MS-09 hole

Moscow: Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos and the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA have not created any joint panels to examine the hole in a compartment of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft.

“No joint commission for investigating the hole in the Soyuz MS-09 hull exists. We maintain permanent contact with NASA and brief them on the latest developments. They are informed about the technological processes. We have never given up such exchanges. The information process proceeds normally,” the press-service said.

Earlier, some mass media speculated that NASA had allegedly rejected Russia’s invitation to participate in a joint investigation of what caused the hole in the Soyuz MS-09, Tass news agency reported.

Russian cosmonaut Kononenko approaches Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft for inspection Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Prokopiev on December 12 carried out a spacewalk to examine the hole in the hull of the Soyuz spacecraft. They ripped through the thermal insulation and meteorite protection cover, examined and photographed the hole and scraped the surface to take test samples, which together with the micrometeorite protection panel will be taken to Earth on December 20 for further examination by specialists.

A drop in air pressure on the ISS occurred on August 30. Later it turned out that a leak from the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the station was to blame. Several days later specialists on Earth began to suspect that the hole had been drilled from inside.

Roscosmos’s executive director for manned programs, Sergei Krikalyov, earlier said that the space corporation considered the possibility the hole might have been drilled by one of the ISS crew. There was a 50/50 chance the spacecraft was damaged in space from outside, he added. The possibility the spacecraft had been damaged on Earth before the launch is being considered, too. In either case intentional or unintentional actions are not ruled out.