Russian Cosmonauts Take Spacewalk to Probe Mystery of Craft Hole

Russian Cosmonauts Take Spacewalk to Probe Mystery of Craft Hole

Russian Cosmonauts Take Spacewalk to Probe Mystery of Craft Hole

A Russian investigation is ongoing, according to Rogozin, and samples collected during the spacewalk will be returned to Earth on the Soyuz. The capsule was "ready to come home", said a Nasa spokesman. The use was a complicated and physically demanding, with less than eight hours, it lasted nearly an hour and a half longer than planned.

Roscosmos space agency said the aim was to discover whether the "small but dangerous" hole had been made on Earth or in space.

Hence the precarious, hours-long spacewalk where one cosmonaut tried to hold the shielding back while the other kept cutting and looking for the hole.

"There's nothing, that's the problem", Kononenko said ahead of the outing.

After more than five hours of a rare broadcast - showing the cosmonauts in space trying to cut through an insulate of the spacecraft with a knife - they uncovered the external part of the hole, originally discovered in the capsule's internal covering, and took samples of the exterior insulation. Cue Sherlock Holmes in a space suit.

Expedition 57 flight engineers Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian federal space agency Roscosmos conducted the 7-hour and 45-minute spacewalk. Prokopyev controlled the booms' motion from the opposite end, moving Kononenko into place, before shimmying up the second boom himself. This should be investigated on the earth of Russian experts. August the leak with a glue-impregnated special cloth sealed.

Russian media reported the investigation was probing the possibility United States astronauts deliberately drilled the hole to get a sick colleague sent back home.

Prokopyev, who's been on the station for six and half months, will use the MS-09 he's investigating Tuesday to return to Earth with the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst and NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor on December 20.

The samples should also clarify how well the waterproofing from the inside. Astronauts Sergey Prokopyev and Alexander Gerst repaired the 0.07-inch-wide (2 millimeters) hole with material soaked in an epoxy sealant.

The module, built by Russian company Energia, arrived at the International Space Station in June and has been the subject of a galactic detective mystery ever since.

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