Soyuz spacecraft fracture caused by human error: Roscosmos

A Soyuz capsule docked on the ISS during a previous mission

A Soyuz capsule docked on the ISS during a previous mission

Russia's Energia Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) will check all the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft to establish a reason for air leak on the International Space Station (ISS), Russian media reported Tuesday. "We don't reject any theories".

While previously Rogozin and his colleagues stated that a small meteorite impact caused the leak, now the Russians changed their mind and ruled out that version.

In a statement, contradicting his previous announcement that it was likely the cause of a micrometeorite, Rogozin claimed the hole was created on objective with a drill by someone with a "wavering hand".

However, the agency is determined on finding "the one responsible for that.whether it was an accidental defect or a deliberate spoilage and where it was done - either on Earth or in space", Rogozin said. He said the culprit will be identified by name.

The hole was allowing oxygen to escape, and pressure dropped slightly before the hole was repaired with tape and sealant.

"The cause of the holes in the inner casing of household compartment of the spacecraft "Soyuz MS-09" installed". He says the drilling equipment necessary to make the hole is available on board the space station, and points out that crew members aren't monitored around the clock.

Speaking on Russian television, Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the country's space agency Roscosmos, said that investigations had already ruled out the meteorite strike theory. The hole was found in a Russian spacecraft docked to the ISS and not directly on the lab itself, 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". "There are several attempts to influence the drill", the official said.

An unnamed source told RIA Novosti the person responsible for drilling the hole filled it with glue instead of reporting the mistake.

"We will find out without fail", Rogozin promised. Alexander Zheleznyakov, for example, as a former space industry engineer and current author, told TASS that drilling a hole like this in near zero gravity is nearly impossible, especially in that section of the spacecraft which will not be used to carry people back to Earth.

NASA spokesman Dan Huot, based in Houston where the space station program is managed, deferred all comment on the issue to Roscosmos.

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