Russia says space station leak wasn't caused by meteorite

Shawn Knight

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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station were on alert last week after a small hole was discovered in the orbital compartment of the docked Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. The hole measured just two millimeters in diameter but was large enough to cause a minor reduction in pressure aboard the space station.

Fortunately, crew members were able to plug the hole using an epoxy-coated gauze wipe. According to NASA, the crew was never in any danger and normal work resumed on Friday.

Initial reports suggested the hole may have been caused by a tiny meteorite impact but this week, the narrative seems to be evolving into one of potential sabotage.

Russian news agency TASS said in a recent report that Dmitry Rogozin, CEO of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos, has dismissed the meteorite theory because “the spaceship’s hull was evidently impacted from inside.”

It’s too early to say what happened for sure, Rogozin said, but the damage was done by a human hand as there are traces of a drill sliding along the surface. “We don’t reject any theories,” he said.

The Roscosmos boss said the agency aims to find out if it was an accident or deliberate measure and whether it took place on Earth or in space. “Now it is essential to see the reason, to learn the name of the one responsible for that. And we will find out, without fail," he vowed.

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Posts: 1,165   +1,924
Surely done on the ground by a clumsy junior technician with those tool marks. Somehow only detected long after pressurisation of the spacecraft. The mission launched in early June, it's been up there nearly 3 months. Which is obviously weird, but there may be explanations.

It would be shocking if a trained astronaut would be drilling holes through the hull of their spacecraft in orbit like that. Even smart and capable humans do dumb things but you would expect that character of person to own up if they did it during the mission.
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Posts: 2,986   +748
Someone probably held an object they needed to drill into against the wall and accidentally drilled into the side. And instead of losing their job, moved away very quickly and never mentioned it to anyone lol.
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Posts: 1,252   +579
It wasn't discovered sooner because someone covered it with glue while it was on earth. But because it wasn't space certified glue, it got lose and started leaking air.

It is alright though. The people who actually produced these parts receive so little money for their work that it is unfair to ask of them for higher standards.
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