In his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced an ambitious mission of sending an Indian astronaut to space by 2022 on board domestically-developed "Gaganyaan", when India celebrates the 75th anniversary of independence.
A NASA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut are due to launch next week to join three astronauts who remain in the orbit.
Members of the worldwide crew of a manned transportation spacecraft Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev, NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Richard Arnold have become the members of the 56 expedition. If successful, India can potentially be the fourth country to send a man to space, after erstwhile USSR, the USA, and China.
Russian experts are investigating what happened, but Russia's space chief has said it appeared the hole was made deliberately.
On Aug. 29, 2018 a small hole was discovered on the International Space Station. Megan Powers, NASA spokeswoman said on Wednesday restored media reports about the likelihood of deliberate harm to the Soyuz module originated from "rough translation" by some Western news outlets of Rogozin's most recent comments.
But NASA said today that Rogosin's statement did not necessarily mean the hole was caused by sabotage. "The International Space Station Program is tentatively planning a spacewalk in November to gather more information".
A Russian space capsule with three men onboard has safely landed in a barren steppe in Kazakhstan after a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station.
In turn, executive director of Roscosmos, Sergey Krikalev, said that there is the version that the Soyuz was drilled by one of the ISS crew members.
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.