MOSCOW, December 13. /TASS/. The samples from a hole and the meteorite shield in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft will be transferred on December 20 to the laboratory of the Federal Security Service (FSB) for analysis, a source in the security agencies told TASS on Thursday.
"On December 20, after the Soyuz MS-09 returns to Earth, the container with the material evidence will be transferred to the FSB laboratory for a chemical analysis," the source said.
The Russian space industry "has no laboratories with the sufficient competences and technical equipment for carrying out such examinations," the source said.
The task of the lab experts is "to determine whether the samples contain sealant or glue different from that used by cosmonauts on August 30 to patch the hole," the source said.
Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos declined to comment on the information provided by the source.
Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin told TASS on Wednesday that the container with the samples and a part of the meteorite shield gathered by the Russian cosmonauts during their spacewalk will be transferred upon the spacecraft’s return to Earth on December 20 to "the competent agencies."
Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Prokopyev made a spacewalk overnight to December 12 to inspect the hole in the Soyuz spacecraft’s casing. They unsealed the thermal insulation layer and the meteorite shield, inspected and photographed the hole and also scraped off samples from the hole’s surface.
On August 30, a drop in air pressure was registered on the ISS. The crew examined the compartments and add-on modules one by one to identify a two-millimeter hole in the hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the orbital outpost. In the evening of the same day it was patched up with several layers of epoxy resin. Pressure returned to normal. On August 31 the crew reinforced the patch with another layer of sealant.