NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin met on Wednesday to discuss the status of International Space Station (ISS) operations after speculation that a leak detected onboard the station two weeks ago was possibly the result of sabotage. During the discussion, NASA says Rogozin informed Bridenstine that Roscosmos was establishing a commission to investigate the incident. The meeting took place via teleconference and was held at the request of Roscosmos.
In a joint statement, NASA and Roscosmos “affirmed the necessity of further close interaction between NASA and Roscosmos technical teams in identifying and eliminating the cause of the leak, as well as continuation of normal ISS operations and NASA’s ongoing support of the Roscosmos-led Soyuz investigation.” The statement also made it clear that no preliminary results would be released prior to the conclusion of the investigation.
On Aug. 29, a pressure drop detected on the ISS led to the discovery of a small hole in one of the two Russian Soyuz capsules docked at the station. The leak was patched by the next day, but unconfirmed theories about its cause quickly emerged, pointing to everything from deliberate sabotage to a fabrication error on the ground. Bridenstine and Rogozin are scheduled to meet for the first time in person in early October when Bridenstine visits Russia and Kazakhstan for the upcoming launch of a Soyuz spacecraft with American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexy Ovchinin onboard.