MOSCOW, September 19. /TASS/. A commission of Russia’s state corporation Roscosmos to investigate circumstances under which the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft was damaged plans to complete its work by the end of November, Roscosmos First Deputy Director General Nikolai Savostyanov told reporters.
"We have outlined the plan of work," he said, commenting on the commission’s first meeting that took place on Tuesday. "We plan to gather once in two weeks and complete the commission’s work in late November."
Savostyanov said that an internal check in the Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energia) revealed no systemic flaws in the production of the Soyuz spacecraft.
"A check by the company’s internal commission found no systemic problems in the production technology of the Soyuz spacecraft, which could have led to an accidental damage of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft," he said.
Meanwhile, Roscosmos Executive Director for Piloted Programs Sergei Krikalyov said Russian cosmonauts would examine the hole in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft during their scheduled spacewalk on November 15.
"In line with the work schedule of the Russia segment of the ISS [International Space Station], a scheduled spacewalk will take place on November 15. Among other things, works outside the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft are planned to examine the hole," Krikalyov said.
He said the cosmonauts will remove the layer of thermal isolation and the anti-meteorite shield to get to the hole. The work is expected to take about two hours.
The crew has already been given instructions and started preparations for the operation.
A drop in air pressure occurred on the ISS on August 30. The station’s crew examined the ISS compartments and spacecraft attached to it one by one to spot a two-millimeter hole in the hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. It was patched with several layers of epoxy resin. The air pressure returned to normal. On August 31 the crew added another sealant layer.
Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin earlier said the inquiry would last as long as necessary, but "within reasonable limits."
Also, he said the incident had turned far more difficult to investigate and all "competent agencies" were taking part in the work.