Russian Federation to train Indian astronaut for Gaganyaan mission

NASA denies hole on Space Station was confirmed to be deliberate

"This conclusion does not necessarily mean the hole was created intentionally or with mal-intent", NASA HQ spokesperson Megan Powers said on Wednesday. NASA highlights that rather than giving greater creditability to this blaming game, the most important aim must be to correct the manufacturing defect.

Russia's State Space Corporation Roscosmos expects to develop cooperation with NASA in new projects, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin tweeted on Monday in congratulations over NASA's 60th anniversary. Ruling out a manufacturing defect indicates that this is an isolated issue which does not categorically affect future production.

The hole has been repaired using tape and sealant.

Rogozin, according to news reports last month, initially refused to rule out the possibility that an astronaut, not a worker on the ground, might have drilled the hole.

Following the grounding of the US space-shuttle fleet, Russian rockets became the only way to get equipment and personnel to the ISS.

Powers said in a statement that, "No one is saying, and certainly NASA is not saying, that it was deliberate". She also said that the reason behind this hole can be explained after completing the full investigation. NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are scheduled to travel to ISS on October 11.

NASA said a spacewalk was being tentatively planned for November to gather more information.

The three members of Expedition 56 returned home inside the same Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft that delivered the other half of the Expedition 56 crew in June.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine plans to meet Rogozin - their first in-person encounter - when he attends the launch.