Space station air leak may have been mishap, not meteorite

Cristina Cross
September 7, 2018

It is said that the damage was caused due to an impact of a high-speed rocky fragment flying through space. The hole was made on the ground and in order to hide the error, used a special glue.

However, the agency is determined on finding "the one responsible for that.whether it was an accidental defect or a deliberate spoilage and where it was done - either on Earth or in space", Rogozin said.

A state commission will seek to identify the culprit by name, Rogozin said, calling this a "matter of honor" for Russia's Energiya space manufacturing company that made the Soyuz.

The pressure drop inside the global space station recorded 30 August.

"The cause of the holes in the inner casing of household compartment of the spacecraft "Soyuz MS-09" installed".

Although the leak was small enough to be fixed by the crew, if it had not been spotted the astronauts would have run out of air in 18 days.

Although Roscosmos said they were not accusing any of the crew, they said they had not ruled out that hole was drilled deliberately in space.

But on the official website NASA reported that the loss of pressure was discovered by the managers of the control centers in Houston and Korolev, while crew members slept.

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The allegation follows on from news last week that a 2mm hole was found in a Russian Soyuz module that docked with the ISS in June.

"Overnight and in the morning there was an abnormal situation - a pressure drop, an oxygen leak at the station", chief of the federal space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. More importantly, he also hints at the fact that the hole was made from the inside, possibly on goal, although it is unclear whether it was made on Earth or in space.

Rogozin said: "There were several attempts at drilling".

Apparently - and importantly - the patched-up part is not part of the spaceship that crew members will use to eventually return to Earth.

In the meantime, the ISS, now inhabited by two Russians, three Americans, and one German, will continue its activities as usual.

One possibility, according to a space industry source speaking to the Russian state news agency TASS, is that the hole was the result of a botched fix.

He added that he hoped the cause was "a production defect" rather than sabotage, but said that too would be "very sad" as "there's been nothing like this in the history of Soyuz ships".

Because the issue involves a Russian spacecraft, NASA had no immediate comment.

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