Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have reportedly managed to plug a 2mm hole in the structure, after it was hit by space junk or a micrometeorite. As the pressure loss was very small and the six astronauts from Russia, USA and Germany are in no danger they were allowed sleep as normal.
A NASA spokesman said it was too early to speculate on whether the three might have to return to Earth early if the leak can not be stopped. "What is this: a production defect or some premeditated actions?" he asked.
The Soyuz spacecraft is one of three spaceships now docked at the space station.
"We have already ruled out the meteorite version", Rogozin said late Monday.
In fact, NASA have released a statement saying it is far to early in the day to speculate on whether they might have to return to Earth early if the leak can not be stopped.
The crew woke this morning to news from ground controllers in Houston Texas, and Moscow that cabin pressure had dropped overnight and their first mission of the day was to fix a hole in the ISS.
Russia's Soyuz MS-09 crew spacecraft is pictured docked to the International Space Station's Rassvet module. The leak was found on Wednesday night, and after discovering the hole on Thursday morning, the astronauts did their best to seal the leak with some taping. This leak is much smaller than the type of damage caused by space debris in the 2013 film which starred George Clooney and Sandra Bullock.
Russian space officials have said that the puncture was caused by a micrometeoroid, but NASA has not confirmed this. Instead of carrying out an inspection of the station, the controllers advised the crew to go to bed, as there were no signs of any immediate danger. They are now trying to work out a more permanent solution.
A Soyuz flight intended for April 2019 "will achieve the fulfilment of our commitments under a contract with NASA related to the delivery of USA astronauts to the ISS and their return from the station", Borisov said at the Energia Rocket and Space Corp., reported by TASS.