12:27 GMT25 February 2020
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    Earlier, cosmonauts sent to earth photos of the meteoroid protection plates which were cut off from the holed Soyuz spacecraft to be checked for the traces of a drill, a source in the space industry told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    Specialists who are carrying out investigation into the August's incident when a hole was discovered in the hull of the Russian Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft have found no drill traces on the photos of the meteoroid protection plates that were cut off from the spacecraft, a source in the space and rocket industry told Sputnik on Thursday.

    "The photos taken by cosmonauts have been studied, and no drill traces have been detected on the micrometeorite protection plates," the source said.

    READ MORE: NASA Rejected Russia's Proposal to Jointly Probe Hole in Soyuz — Source

    Russian space agency Roscosmos has not provided any comment.

    The small fracture on the hull of the Soyuz spacecraft was found after an air leak occurred on the ISS in late August. The cosmonauts subsequently patched the hole, while Roscosmos and the spacecraft manufacturer Energia have launched probes to determine how the hole appeared.

    Energia suggested that the hole had been made deliberately. Roscosmos, in its turn, ruled out a manufacturing flaw as the cause of the incident, prompting the US space agency NASA to suggest that the flaw had not been caused deliberately.

    Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said in early November that the hole in the hull of Soyuz could have been drilled before the launch at the Baikonur space center.

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