A Russian cosmonaut said a hole found in a capsule that docked at the International Space Station had been drilled from inside, and Russian law enforcement officials were investigating how it could get there.
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Flight controllers in Houston and Moscow first saw a drop in air pressure in the Soyuz capsule on August 30, The Associated Press reported. The crew found a hole and stuck it with epoxy and gauze.
Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, NASA physicist astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor and German astronaut Alexander Gerst returned to Earth last week after a 197-day space station mission, landing on a snow field in Kazakhstan.
Prokopyev and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko examined the 2-millimeter hole in space on December 11.
The hole is not dangerous for the crew when entering again because the capsule that appears is removed before re-entering the Earth's atmosphere.
Prokopyev told a news conference that the hole was made from inside the pier, and "it is up to the investigation organ to assess when the hole was made."
Head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said that in September the hole could be drilled when a capsule was produced or in orbit. He stopped blaming crew members, but the statement caused tension between Roscosmos and NASA.
Since then Rogozin said that the media distorted his words.
When asked whether the hole could be drilled by an astronaut, Prokopyev replied, "You shouldn't think too much about our crew."
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