Published: Fri, September 07, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Russia Says Space Station Leak Could Be Deliberate Sabotage

Russia Says Space Station Leak Could Be Deliberate Sabotage

A small leak detected last week in a Soyuz transport capsule temporarily docked to the International Space Station may have been caused by a human before the spacecraft launched, according to Russian reports.

The RT network in Russian Federation posted this picture, credited to NASA, of an apparent drill hole inside the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft that caused a small leak.

"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.

"We can see the mark where the drill bit slid along the surface of the hull", Rogozin said, according to RIA Novosti.

If found, a state-sponsored commission will find the culprit.

That's because the hole was made from the inside of the spacecraft, and appears to have been made by a drill. "We are checking the Earth version", he explained, AFP reports, "but there is another version that we do not rule out".

"We have already ruled out the meteorite version", Rogozin said late Monday.

An industry source told RIA Novosti, Russia's worldwide news agency, that an Energia employee likely made the hole in the internal hull of the module before sealing the crack with a special glue.

On August 30, a 2mm "microcrack" was detected on the hull of a Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, which is now docked to the ISS.

At first, officials suggested the miniature fracture was likely caused by an impact with a tiny meteorite.

The crew have used a tape to seal the leak.

As a result, Rogozin said, sabotage can not be ruled out.

He added that they also included the theory that the hole was part of a "deliberate interference in space", explaining that they will find the one responsible for this act and determine if it was done by accident or not.

"If a cosmonaut pulled this unusual stunt - and that can't be ruled out - it's really bad", said Surayev, who spent two stints on the ISS.

The investigation into what caused the hole seems to point to it being drilled into the upper section of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft attached to the ISS. "Responsible for the negligence established", the source told RT. The breached module will not be used during the reentry phase of the Soyuz trip back to earth, so it poses no threat to them.

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