Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Cosmonauts Take Spacewalk to Probe Mystery of Craft Hole

NASA

Two Russian cosmonauts took a spacewalk on Tuesday seeking to resolve the mystery of a small hole found in the side of a craft docked at the International Space Station.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos has ruled out a manufacturing defect causing the 2 mm-wide hole found in August on the Russian Soyuz capsule, but NASA has sought to dampen speculation of sabotage.

Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev's six-hour-long spacewalk began at 9 p.m. a live broadcast by Roscosmos showed.

"Sergey, how are we doing with the time schedule?" a voice from the control center asked them after an hour.

"We are working, working leisurely," Prokopyev answered.

They will take samples from the exterior wall of the Soyuz to look into the hole in the capsule's internal covering.

The puncture has been sealed since August, halting the oxygen leak. Officials said the crew — three U.S. astronauts, two Russian cosmonauts and one German — were never in danger.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.