After a mysterious hole in the International Space Station (ISS) caused a rift between the U.S. and Russia, some cosmonauts will take to space on Tuesday to investigate it.
Two Russian cosmonauts will conduct a space walk outside the ISS on Tuesday to inspect the area where the hole was discovered in August, according to the AP. The leak, which was quickly plugged with only a small pressure loss, was found in the area where a Russian Soyuz craft attached to the side of the ISS.
Soon after the leak was discovered, Russia’s Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin issued a statement that suggested American astronauts working in the area could have been to blame. Soon after, NASA responded sharply to any question of sabotage and said that the hole was little more than an issue that was patched. Rogozin responded by saying that he hadn’t blamed American astronauts for the leak.
Since then, tensions have cooled between the countries, even as the investigation into the leak continued. The spacewalk on Tuesday, which will last six hours, aims at determining why a hole might have blown into the ISS. Their findings will be studied by experts to identify ways to harden the spacecraft and reduce chances of it in the future.
Russia said that it will share its findings with NASA to conduct its own investigation.