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Cosmonaut shows ISS hole to calm controversy

AFP-JijiMOSCOW (AFP-Jiji) — A cosmonaut on Monday showed off a hole in the International Space Station that caused loss of oxygen after Russia suggested the leak could have been caused deliberately.

Cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev posted a video on social media where he shows the small sealed hole in the wall of a Russian-made Soyuz space capsule docked onto the ISS.

“As you can see everything is calm on board, we are living in peace and friendship as always,” said the 43-year-old cosmonaut, who is on his first space mission.

The hole was located on August 30 after an air leak on the orbiting space station which is currently home to astronauts from Russia, the United States and Germany.

The head of the Russian space agency Dmitry Rogozin caused a sensation last week when he suggested the hole could have been drilled deliberately — either back on Earth or in space.

A Russian MP who is a former cosmonaut said that the hole could have been drilled by an astronaut who was mentally unbalanced.

The Russian space agency has convened a commission to investigate the incident which it said will present conclusions in mid-September.

Photos of the hole had not been officially made public although NASA briefly posted an image in a video before deleting it.

The hole covered with dark sealant is hidden under a padded flap, Prokopyev showed in a video he said he had made to “dispel rumors.”

Prokopyev described how the astronauts discovered “a 2mm hole where our air was going out” and covered it with three layers of sealant.

“Please don’t worry we’re all right,” the smiling cosmonaut said, reassuring viewers that the module is now “completely hermetically sealed.”Speech

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