That Hole in the ISS Was Drilled From the Inside, Astronauts Say

Thursday, 27 December 2018 - 11:57AM
Technology
Space
Thursday, 27 December 2018 - 11:57AM
That Hole in the ISS Was Drilled From the Inside, Astronauts Say
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NASA
One of the well-worn tropes in horror movies is discovering "the calls are coming from inside the house!" Well, the astronauts aboard the ISS have found something similar: it appears that the mysterious hole that caused a pressure leak in the space station earlier this year was not only man-made, but drilled from inside of the module.

Though the hole itself was quickly sealed and the astronauts were in no immediate danger, the question of where it came from (and whether it was sabotage) has loomed over the ISS for months. Though both the station commander, American astronaut Drew Drew Feustel, and Russian deputy Prime Minister, Yuri Borisov, said it was premature to accuse American or Russian astronauts of sabotaging the mission, the insinuation that someone aboard the ISS caused the hole has stuck around.

All of this came to a head during the December 11th spacewalk by cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Prokopyev, which was made in part to investigate the hole, located in the Soyuz capsule attached to the station. Though they weren't able to discover much more about who created the opening or why, they did conclude that the hole was drilled from the inside of the station.

According to Pablo De Leon, a professor in extravehicular activity at the University of North Dakota, the hole was probably not drilled while in space due to the difficulties posed by microgravity. This suggests the hole was drilled while the capsule was still on the ground, or while it was being constructed. Russian authorities have already claimed that the hole was not a manufacturing error.

At one Russian official has suggested that the hole might have been drilled by a sick Russian cosmonaut who wanted to prevent themselves from going on the ISS mission, but this theory hasn't been confirmed.
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