A leak was detected in the Russian Soyuz capsule at the International Space Station last week. Although the hole was just 2 mm it was causing an air leak in the cabin. The Russian astronauts were quick to fix it and the latest checks into these leaks point that it could have been a sabotage attempt. Space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin said that the small hole was caused by a drill. Soyuz MS-09 Launches to the ISS, Will Orbit 34 Times Around the Earth, Watch Video.
Astronauts on the space station experienced a drop in the pressure, which led to the small hole. It was earlier speculated to be caused by a meteorite that might have stricken the spacecraft. But an investigation reveals that it was a deliberate attempt, carried out either on Earth or in space. "We are checking the Earth version. But there is another version that we do not rule out: deliberate interference in space." A commission will seek to identify the culprit by name, Rogozin said. He called it a "matter of honour" for Russia’s Energia space manufacturing company that made the Soyuz. 'Gaganyaan' - India's Mission To Take Indian Astronaut To Space After US, Russia And China.
The crew have used a tape to seal the leak. They later used a cloth and put sealant to close the hole for a long-term solution. Meanwhile, flight controllers in Houston monitored station's cabin pressure. Although better solutions are still being worked upon. Three Top Russian Space Industry Execs Held for 'fraud'.
Take a look at NASA's statement about the repair of space leak:
Cabin pressure on @Space_Station is holding steady after the crew conducted repair work on one of two Russian Soyuz spacecraft attached to the complex. The repair was made to address a leak that had caused a minor reduction of pressure. Details: https://t.co/bCgcvz8bTb pic.twitter.com/PRGN1d94gw
— NASA (@NASA) August 30, 2018
The meteorite version has been completely ruled out. And Rogozin also states that there were several attempts at drilling, adding that the drill was held by a 'wavering hand.' A commission will find out who is the culprit. Energia will check all the possible defects at the production site in Moscow and also those that are awaiting launch from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. According to news agency RIA Novosti, the person for the act of negligence has been identified. The hole was made on the ground and in order to hide the error, used a special glue. But the seal opened after two months in the orbital flight.
The hole is located in the upper, spherical section of the Soyuz, which does not return to Earth, so the astronauts will return safely back to the planet. Currently, there are three Americans, two Russians and one German on the spacecraft. (With agency inputs)