ISS astronauts return to earth among US-Russia tensions

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NASA and the Russian space agency are continuing to investigate the incident, and NASA said there are tentative plans to conduct a spacewalk next month to gather more information.

NASA plans spacewalk to scrutinize tiny ISS hole, as the United States space agency tamps down hypothesis that damage caused a modest hole discovered a month ago in the side of a Russian module docked at the International Space Station, however the mystery is still unsolved.

The Soyuz MS-09/55S capsule - the vehicle at the center of a growing controversy over an unexpected and unexplained hole which appeared in its hull - remains attached to the International Space Station.

Expedition 55 Flight Engineers Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold stepped outside of the International Space Station for the second of two related EVAs, completing the primary objectives of upgrading cooling system hardware and installing new and updated communications equipment for future dockings of commercial crew spacecraft.

A NASA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut are due to launch next week to join three astronauts who remain in the orbit. He is set to return to Earth this week. "It concluded that a manufacturing defect had been ruled out which is important to establish the truth", said the man who leads the nation's space agency.

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Feustel invoked Hollywood comedy actor Jack Black's character Nacho Libre as he tweeted farewell to life on the space station.

Three crew members of the ISS: our compatriot Oleg Artemyev and NASA astronauts Andrew Feistel and Richard Arnold have returned to Earth. She was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome on 21 March. the total time of stay of the crew in orbit amounted to 197 days.

In a NASA video, Arnold revealed that fellow educator McAuliffe's death in an explosion just over a minute after the challenger crew blasted off was one of the things that prompted him to take up teaching.