Russia Says Hole in ISS Was Not Manufacturing Defect, Still Looking Into Possible Sabotage

Thursday, 04 October 2018 - 7:55AM
Space
Thursday, 04 October 2018 - 7:55AM
Russia Says Hole in ISS Was Not Manufacturing Defect, Still Looking Into Possible Sabotage
< >
Outer Places composite from Pixabay
About a month ago, cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station discovered a hole in the Russian Soyuz spacecraft that was slowly draining the station's oxygen supply. The hole was thought to have been caused by a small meteorite and was easily patched, but that was not even close to the end of the story. At first there were statements from Russian officials that merely suggested that the hole could have been made deliberately by an astronaut wanting to return home early, but that snowballed into Russian news reports claiming that American astronauts drilled the hole in an act of sabotage. Despite statements to the contrary from both the Station commander and the Russian Deputy Prime Minister, the rumor continues to grow as the head of Roscosmos has now issued a statement saying that the hole was not a Russian manufacturing defect and that another commission is investigating.

Speaking on television, Dmitry Rogozin told Russians this week that those investigating the incident have found that the hole was not made in error. "It concluded that a manufacturing defect had been ruled out which is important to establish the truth," said the man who leads the nation's space agency. "Where it was made will be established by a second commission, which is at work now."  

NASA has issued another statement in response to the vague statements reportedly made by Rogozin. "Russian media recently reported that General Director Rogozin said the hole was not a manufacturing defect. Ruling out a manufacturing defect indicates that this is an isolated issue which does not categorically affect future production. This conclusion does not necessarily mean the hole was created intentionally or with mal-intent. NASA and Roscosmos are both investigating the incident to determine the cause. The International Space Station Program is tentatively planning a spacewalk in November to gather more information." NASA added that American and Russian astronauts are scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan to ISS on October 11, and that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will meet with Dmitry Rogozin at the launch for the first time. Hopefully they will reach some mutual understanding and Rogozin will do his part to end the speculation.

We'll keep you updated as we're sure this is far from the end of this ongoing drama.

Science
NASA
Space