NASA and its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, have sat down in order to talk about the recent pressure leak on the International Space Station.
In a teleconference, the two space agencies discussed the issue two weeks after astronauts onboard the orbiting space station had found a leak inside a docked Soyuz capsule. The meeting took place on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin decided to create a commission to specifically investigate the cause of the leak which, according to Roscosmos, was made using a hand drill. The Russian space agency will lead the investigation.
During the conversation, Bridenstine and Rogozin also addressed the growing popularity of a theory that American astronauts sabotaged the Soyuz capsule while onboard the ISS.
"The Administrator and the General Director noted speculations circulating in the media regarding the possible cause of the incident and agreed on deferring any preliminary conclusions and providing any explanations until the final investigation has been completed," revealed the press release published by NASA on Thursday, Sept. 13.
"They acknowledged the entire crew is dedicated to the safe operation of the station and all docked spacecraft to ensure mission success."
Russian officials initially suspected that the hole was created by a passing micrometeoroid. However, upon further investigation, they said that the leak was man-made, pointing out the traces of a drill around it.
In a statement, he vowed to find who was responsible, whether it was accidental or deliberate, and if it was done on Earth or while in space.
Meanwhile, mission commander Drew Feustel recently has spoken about and denied the rumors that he or any of his crew had anything to do with the mysterious hole.
October Launch Still A Go
NASA and Roscosmos will continue to work together to identify how the hole was created. Bridenstine is also scheduled to fly to the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan next month to send off NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin in a Soyuz MS-10 to the ISS. The Soyuz MS-09, where the hole was found, will be sent back to Earth with three astronauts in December.
The hole was already patched with tape and epoxy resin to stop the air pressure to leak. Ground control then boosted the oxygen supply inside the orbiting space observatory as a protective measure.
The compromised part will also not be needed when the capsule returns to Earth, so it does not pose a risk to the lives of the astronauts onboard the Soyuz.