MOSCOW, October 22. /TASS/. The special commission investigating the origin of the hole in the hull of the manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-09, attached to the International Space Station, keeps working in the original mode. The failed launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket on October 11 by no means affected its activities, the press-service of the space corporation Roscosmos told TASS on Monday.
"The panel of inquiry into the affair on the manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-09 keeps working. It is now waiting for the results of a spacewalk (and detained examination of the hole in the hull - TASS). Its date will be determined after October 30," Roscosmos said.
The inquiry into the causes of the hole in the hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft consists of specialists from the state-run corporation Roscosmos, the space rocket corporation Energia and TsNIIMash. The hole might have been caused by external factors (the impact of a meteorite or space debris, faulty workmanship or deliberate mechanical impact.
Hole in Soyuz MS-09
On August 30, a drop in air pressure occurred on board the ISS. The crew identified a two-millimeter hole in the hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the ISS. In the evening of the same day it was patched with several layers of epoxy resin. The pressure returned to normal.
Originally, a spacewalk for examining the outer surface of Soyuz MS-09 was scheduled for November 15. Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said that Russian cosmonauts would remove part of the anti-meteorite protective cover and examine the hole from the outside. The failed launch of the Soyuz-FG rocket on October 11 delayed the spacewalk.
Aborted launch of Soyuz-FG
A Soyuz-FG launch vehicle carrying the manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-10 failed shortly after blastoff from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan on October 11. It was to deliver to the ISS Roscosmos’s Alexei Ovchinin (Soyuz MS-10 commander) and NASA’s astronaut Nick Hague. None of them was hurt. It was the first such emergency after launch in 35 years.
Earlier, a source in the space rocket industry told TASS that the panel of inquiry investigating the causes of the aborted launch of Soyuz-FG believed problems with separation of the rocket’s first stage were to blame. A final report and a list of recommendations following the loss of the Soyuz-FG rocket and manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-10 would be approved on October 30.