The leader of the current mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) reverses the proposal that he or his crew members may have caused the groundbreaking laboratory's latest air leakage.
"I can say unequivocally that the crew had nothing to do with this," said NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, commander of ISS Expedition 56, during an interview from space to ground with ABC News, Florida Today reported on September 11th. "I think it's a shame and a bit embarrassing that someone hurts to talk about something that the crew was involved in."
Leakage history has taken some turns and reversed in recent weeks, so let's start at the beginning. [Russia̵
On the night of August 29, ISS inspectors on the ground saw a small pressure drop aboard the track outpost. They reported the crew the next day, and the space pilots quickly traced the problem into a small hole in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft driven to the circuit.
Cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, Soyuz commander, patched 2-millimeter (0.08 inch) epoxy and gauze holes on Aug.30, which clearly resolves the problem. The expedition 56 crew was never in danger, NASA officials have stressed.
Russian space secretary soon formed a commission to investigate the leak and its cause. And last week, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, announced that the crash in the Soyuz wall was a borehole. The one who made the hole obviously had "a dizzying hand", Rogozin added, referring to nearby scuff marks that likely resulted when the drill slipped.
Rogozin further promised that officials would determine whether the hole was intentionally or unfortunately drilled "either on earth or in space."
This is the last bit – the implication that Expedition 56 crew members may be responsible – which apparently raised Feustel's ears .
In its interview with ABC News, Feustel invited ISS executives to find out exactly what happened and say that "the consequences are huge for the entire space program." And he praised the Expedition 56 crew to handle a difficult situation.
"I can not say enough about the performance of the crew, how we reacted, how we responded, how we stayed together, and continued to work as a team, just as we always have to ensure security for ourselves, spacecraft security and assurance About Mission Priorities, Feustel says, according to Florida Today.
The hole was in the Soyuz upper "orbital module", which arrived in ISS in June. The spacecraft is scheduled to resign ISS in December, with Prokopyev, NASA astronaut Serena Auñón Chancellor and the European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst back down to earth. The hole should not be a problem on this return trip, NASA officials said. (Soyuz orbital modules are designed to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.)
Soyuz spacecraft has been the ISS crew members' only trip to and from orbit, as NASA resigned from its spacecraft fleet in 2011. But private space drives are being developed by SpaceX and Boeing should be ready to start taking on that responsibility soon. Both cars are scheduled to start crew test flights next year.