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 are considering all the theories". "But, it seems to be done by a faltering hand ... it is a technological error by a specialist". But, Dmitry Rogozin reportedly said, whoever did it had a "wavering hand" and there had been several attempts at drilling. There are now two of the Russian space experts on the ISS, along with three astronauts from NASA, and a German astronaut from the European Space Agency. A commission will seek to identify the culprit by name, Rogozin said.
The pressure drop inside the worldwide space station recorded 30 August. Soyuz MS-09 Launches to the ISS, Will Orbit 34 Times Around the Earth, Watch Video.
According to Roscosmos's data, pressure on the orbital outpost is holding stable after the repairs and no new leaks have been detected, the report said. He added that Roscosmos isn't ruling out any theories, including "deliberate interference in space". The plug held, and flight controllers boosted cabin air pressure back to normal levels. 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.
Alexander Zheleznyakov, a former space industry engineer and author, told the TASS state news agency that drilling the hole in zero gravity would be almost impossible in that part of the spacecraft. The Soyuz will still be able to safely ferry astronauts home, as the hole is in a part of the module that does not survive re-entry, according to NASA.
"I have conducted investigations of all kinds of spacecraft, and after landing, we discovered a hole drilled completely through the hull of a re-entry module", the former Energia employee, Viktor Minenko, said in Gazeta.RU. After a day of searching, a 2mm hole was discovered in the Russian section of the ISS. The big question was whether the hole could've been a production defect, or more premeditated.
An unnamed source told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that "the hole was made on the ground".
Because the issue involves a Russian spacecraft, NASA had no immediate comment.