Cosmonauts Complete Outer Space 'Surgery' on Soyuz Craft

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