The Russians reportedly want to hide the reason for the leak of the Soyuz spacecraft at the International Space Station in 2018, but NASA director Jim Bridenstine revealed that he would personally talk to the head of the Russian space agency because NASA wants to find out the reasons of hiding the information.
“They didn’t tell me anything”, Bridenstine said during a question session of the Houston Energy Conference, stressing that he wanted to maintain good relations with the Russians, one of the main partners in the international station.
“I don’t want to leave an element affecting our relationship, but it is clearly unacceptable that there are gaps in the International Space Station”, Bridenstine said.
His speech included a reference to the 2-millimeter (0.08-inch) aperture found from the 56 crew expedition in the MS-09 Soyuz spacecraft, a crew vehicle attached to the station.
Bridenstine’s comments followed a report by the Russian news agency, where Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency, suggested that his agency had found the cause of the aperture and the air leak last year, but did not disclose the results outside the agency.
NASA and the Russian space agency issued a joint statement in mid-September 2018 that they agreed to postpone any preliminary conclusions and provide any explanations until the completion of the final investigation.