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The outspoken official also said Russian investigators believed a small hole that appeared in a Russian space craft docked at the orbiting station in August causing an air leak on the ISS had been made deliberately.

The breach was found in a Soyuz capsule docked at the station and those comments from him, in turn, only fuelled speculation of ill intent.

It's because earlier this week the head of Russia's space agency ruled out that it was the result of a manufacturing defect.

In a bid to have a manned presence in space, India is now planning to send an astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) on a Russian spacecraft in 2022, according to Russian media outlet Sputnik.

Last month the Russian daily Kommersant reported that an investigation had probed the possibility that U.S. astronauts deliberately drilled the hole in order to get a sick colleague sent back home - something Russian officials later denied.

"NASA and Roscosmos are both investigating the incident to determine the cause", NASA said on Wednesday.

Lockheed Martin's Lunar Lander Seats 4 Astronauts
Lockheed Martin's design will remain at the Deep Space Gateway until astronauts need to be taken to the moon. Lockheed's lunar lander will serve as a precursor to an even more ambitious spacecraft: a Mars lander.


NASA denied to comment on those remarks at the time. While intentional damage remains one of numerous possibilities still under review.

The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft is seen as it lands with near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, on October 4, 2018.

After undocking TPK Soyuz MS-08 with the ISS and to arrive aboard the next expedition working in orbit will continue the crew cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyeva (Roscosmos), astronaut Serena Augen-Chancellor (NASA) and astronaut Alexander Gerst (ESA).

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will attend next week's Soyuz launch and plans to meet with Rogozin to discuss the highly sensitive matter.

The spacewalkers also replaced components of the space station's cooling system and communications network, and installed new wireless communication antennas for external experiments.


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