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Russian Cosmonaut Confirms Mysterious hole in the International Space Station was drilled from INSIDE

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A Russian cosmonaut who explored a mysterious hole in a capsule docked to the International Space Station has revealed that the opening was drilled from inside the spacecraft.

It's been four months since crew first discovered the hole in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the orbiting lab, but just how it got there remains a mystery.

On Monday, Sergey Prokopyev said Russian law enforcement agencies are now examining samples he and crewmate Oleg Kononenko collected during a Dec. 12 spacewalk in effort to find out what caused it. 





 Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, waves as he boards the spaceship prior to the launch at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, crew member of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, waves as he boards the spaceship prior to the launch at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

Prokopyev and two other astronauts returned to Earth last week from a 197-day space station mission.

The hole in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the station was spotted on Aug. 30.

Just days prior to their return to Earth, the cosmonauts endured a grueling spacewalk that lasted almost eight hours to investigate the hole, using knives and shears to carve into the side of the ISS.  

The crew discovered a leak that was creating a slight loss of pressure and plugged the hole with epoxy and gauze.
   
 The 'micro fracture' is believed to be around 2mm wide in the $150 billion (£115 billion) space station was discovered after astronauts noticed a drop in pressure causing air to slowly rush out of the space station. A seven hour, 45 minute spacewalk located the source of the suspicious hole Mr Prokopyev and Mr Kononenko had to use a pair of telescoping booms to reach the Soyuz and said it took nearly four hours for them to cross the approximately 100 feet to get to the capsule (pictured) 





Mr. Prokopyev and Mr. Kononenko had to use a pair of telescoping booms to reach the Soyuz and said it took nearly four hours for them to cross the approximately 100 feet to get to the capsule (pictured)

A tiny hole, only 2mm wide (pictured), was found to be responsible for the loss of valuable cabin pressure which was first detected on 30th August

A tiny hole, only 2mm wide (pictured), was found to be responsible for the loss of valuable cabin pressure which was first detected on 30th August

Prokopyev said at a news conference the cavity started from the capsule's interior and 'it's up to the investigative organs to judge when that hole was made.'

The astronauts' quick identification and repair of the hole demonstrated 'the crew was ready for any developments,' he said.

The hole didn't pose a danger to Prokopyev and crewmates Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency during their return because the section of the capsule it appeared on was jettisoned before the fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

The crew quickly located and sealed the tiny hole that created a slight loss of pressure. Space officials said the station has remained safe to operate. There appear to be drill marks around the hole on the inside (pictured). Despite ongoing investigation, no one knows how it got there

The crew quickly located and sealed the tiny hole that created a slight loss of pressure. Space officials said the station has remained safe to operate. There appear to be drill marks around the hole on the inside (pictured). Despite ongoing investigation, no one knows how it got there

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said in September the hole could have been drilled when the capsule was manufactured or in orbit.

Rogozin stopped short of blaming crew members, but the statement has caused some friction between Roscosmos and NASA.



Rogozin has since back-pedaled from the statement, blaming the news media for twisting his words.

Prokopyev scoffed at the idea the hole could have been drilled by an astronaut, saying, 'You shouldn't think so badly of our crew.'

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