17:46 GMT18 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The planned visit by Dmitry Rogozin, the director general of the Russian state space corporation Roscosmos, to the United States may not just be postponed but cancelled, a source in the rocket and space industry has told Sputnik.

    "Dmitry Rogozin's visit should have been, most importantly, a response to the head of NASA's visit to Russia. We hope that NASA will manage to settle all the political issues and the visit will eventually be held, as they have not cancelled their invitation. But if NASA does not manage to do it, the visit will be just cancelled", the source said.

    The Russian state space corporation Roscosmos said in a statement that it expected the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to provide an official explanation on its position concerning a visit by a Russian delegation to the United States on the previously sent invitation.

    "Roscosmos expects NASA to provide official explanations on its position concerning the organisation of a return visit by the Russian delegation to the United States on the invitation that we have previously received", the statement read.

    READ MORE: NASA Postpones Roscosmos Chief's Visit to US — Space Agency

    Roscosmos has not yet suspended its work toward formulating its negotiating position on the sides' cooperation regarding the International Space Station and deep space, the corporation specified.

    Late on Friday, the press secretary for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) told Sputnik that the visit, initially scheduled for February, would be postponed and a new date would be set later.

    This was supposed to be a return visit following a visit by a US delegation.

    Issue of Hole in Soyuz MS-09 Not on Agenda

    The reasons behind the appearance of a microfracture, which was found on a wall of the orbital module of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft in August, were not planned to be discussed during the visit of Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia's Roscosmos state corporation, to the United States, as the Russian side has already handed all materials on this issue to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an official Roscosmos representative told Sputnik.

    "No, this topic was not planned [for discussion], as we have already transferred all the materials to the US side", the representative said asked a respective question.

    READ MORE: Russian Soyuz Vehicles to Carry Out Record-Long Missions to ISS in 2019 — Source

    On 30 August, the International Space Station’s (ISS) crew detected a minor air leak caused by a microfracture on a wall of the orbital module of the Soyuz MS-09. The hole was sealed by the crew on the same day, and Roscosmos set up a special commission to investigate the incident. In October, the commission concluded that the incident was not caused by a manufacturing defect. The law enforcement agencies are also engaged in the investigation.


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