The space station hole is still a mystery

The drill hole in the Russian Soyuz MS-09 crew craft

Modal Trigger The drill hole in the Russian Soyuz MS-09 crew craft. NASA

Dimitri Rogozin the general director of Russian space agency Roscosmos made a public comment in this week which shut out the reason of manufacturing defect.

NASA spokeswoman Megan Powers said on Wednesday that, while intentional damage remains one of the possibilities under review, 'we're not expecting it was a bad actor ... we don't think that's the most likely conclusion'.

NASA is tamping down speculation that sabotage caused an apparently man-made hole and air leak in a capsule docked at the International Space Station.

ISS astronauts are planning a spacewalk in November to gather more information on the hole, which was quickly sealed.

Rogozin even held phone talks with NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

Rather than giving greater credence to foul play, the elimination of a manufacturing defect as causing the hole "indicates that this is an isolated issue which does not categorically affect future production", NASA said.

NASA removed these before and after images of the ISS hole from a Space to Ground video update in September.

Feustel, who served as Expedition 56 commander, and Arnold, who served as flight engineer, participated in dozens of educational downlink events while in space, reaching hundreds of thousands of students.

A NASA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut are due to launch next week to join three astronauts who remain in the orbit.

The spacewalkers also replaced components of the space station's cooling system and communications network, and installed new wireless communication antennas for external experiments. Early Thursday, Feustel will strap into another Soyuz - not the one where the hole was found - with NASA's Ricky Arnold and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev for the ride home to Earth.

Chawla and six fellow crew members died when the space shuttle Columbia was destroyed during re-entry into the atmosphere on February 1, 2003.

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