Science

Russian cosmonaut allays concern about hole in space station

Sergei Prokopyev said the tiny hole had caused a slight loss of pressure, but was quickly patched.

A Russian crew member on the International Space Station has recorded a video message to address concerns about an air leak on the orbiting outpost.

Sergei Prokopyev explained on a video released by the Russian space agency Roscosmos how the crew last week located and sealed the tiny hole that created a slight loss of pressure.

Speaking from the Russian Soyuz spacecraft docked at the station, where the leak was spotted, Mr Prokopyev said the hole was quickly patched, adding with a smile that “we aren’t trying to cover it with our fingers”.

Roscosmos director Dmitry Rogozin said that the hole could have been drilled during manufacturing or while in orbit.

He did not say if he suspected any of the current crew of three Americans, two Russians and a German aboard the station.

Mr Prokopyev said the crew is in a good mood.

“As you can see, everything is fine on board and we live peacefully together as always,” he said. “Our joint international expedition is working in a friendly environment.”

The state RIA Novosti news agency reported that a government commission investigating the mysterious drill hole had failed to determine what caused it.

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