Russians Claim Hole Found in Spacecraft Was Sabotage, Launch Investigation
Last week there were reports that astronauts aboard the International Space Station found a leak that was traced to the Soyuz capsule on the Russian side of the station. The hole was 1.5 millimeters wide and determined to not be a threat to those on board because it could easily be patched. The thinking at the time was that a small meteorite must have struck the capsule and created the fracture, but now Russian officials are suggesting that someone drilled the hole, maybe as an act of sabotage.
According to Phys.org, Dmitry Rogozin, director general of the Roscosmos space agency, said during televised comments on Monday that a meteorite strike has been ruled out as the cause. "What is this: a production defect or some premeditated actions?," he asked. Rogozin said that the version of the craft that is still on Earth would be checked for similar defects, but he leaned heavily towards a saboteur with a drill and a "wavering hand." Whether the damage was done in space or before the capsule left Earth is yet to be determined, and the director general did not point fingers at any specific party, but others have contributed theories. Russian MP Maxim Surayev and former ISS cosmonaut offered that one of the current inhabitants may have done it in an attempt to cut his/her stay short and return home. "If a cosmonaut pulled this strange stunt-and that can't ruled out- it's really bad," he said. "I wish to God that this is a production defect, although that's very sad, too-there's been nothing like this in the history of Soyuz ships."
Others posited that there was damage done to the capsule during testing and that someone tried to hide the mistake with some kind of sealant that has since fallen off. Either way, Rogozin says that the matter is under investigation and that they want to find the party responsible. It's a space whodunit so bizarre that we hope someone obtains the rights to it and writes a 12-part Netflix documentary about it.