On December 11, 2018, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev performed the extra vehicle activities (EVA – spacewalk). The cosmonauts cut into multi-layer insulation and debris shielding to inspect the “Soyuz MS-09” spacecraft’s metallic hull, where Prokopyev and German astronaut Alexander Gerst had plugged a 2-millimeter hole that caused a minor air leak in August. The spacewalkers first cut into the thermal blankets, then sliced into shielding designed to protect the ship from micrometeoroid and orbital debris impacts.
The photos are taken from NASA TV.
More than five hours into the spacewalk and with the help from the Russian mission control center, the spacewalkers finally located the hole. Kononenko and Prokopyev used forceps to collect a sample of the epoxy extruding through the hole, which Russian investigators believe was made using a drill. The cosmonauts also gathered samples around the hole. The EVA lasted 7 hours and 45 minutes. It was the 4th EVA for Kononenko and the 2nd for Prokopyev.