Two Russian cosmonauts carried out “space surgery” on the exterior of the Soyuz spaceship docked to the International Space Station in a livestreamed spacewalk on December 11.
In this footage, cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev can be seen mounted at the end of a crane, and using knives and scissors to slice through the insulation surrounding the Soyuz MS-09’s hull.
These “outer space surgeons” ultimately found what they were looking for – a small black hole that had caused an air leak in August – and sealed it shut.
According to reports from Spaceflight Now and NASA Spaceflight, the hole was a minor drill-sized opening. It is not known how the hole occurred; however, it is suspected that it may have been made when the Soyuz was constructed.
The repaired Soyuz MS-09 is scheduled to return to Earth on December 20. Credit: NASA via Storyful