Ruling out manufacturing defect doesn't mean astronauts drilled hole on ISS

Russian space boss accuses Elon Musk and Pentagon of dumping conspiracy

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral Florida

The crew completed hundreds of experiments during its 197-day expedition in space.

The head of Russia's space agency has suggested that the tiny hole discovered in the International Space Station (ISS) was made deliberately, citing an expert commission investigating the issue. 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.

An air leak occurred due to a small hole in the spacecraft at the International Space Station at the end of August.

Previously, wild and unsubstantiated rumours had circulated in Russian media that the hole had been drilled by a NASA astronaut - possibly because he was homesick and wished to return to Earth.

Russian Federation is looking at building a lunar station jointly with Chinese partners, CEO of Russia's state space corporation Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, said, TASS reports.

And, now Nasa is trying to clamp down on the notion that the hole was intentional.

The Russian daily Kommersant reported that an investigation at home was probing the possibility that United States astronauts deliberately drilled the hole in order to get a sick colleague sent back home - something Russian officials later denied.

"We are grateful to American colleagues for years-long productive cooperation, crowned with the creation of the International Space Station (ISS) that this year turns 20".

Expedition 57 continues station research and operations with a crew comprised of Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of ESA (European Space Agency) and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos.

"Problems with NASA, of course, have appeared, but not through the fault of NASA, but through the fault of those American circles that surround NASA, which dictate certain conditions to them", Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview with Russian Channel One on October 1.

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