The International Space Station (ISS) had patched and sealed the two-millimetre-wide hole that was discovered aboard the Soyuz MS-09 crew spacecraft last week.
The hole became apparent last Wednesday night when mission control discovered a drop in pressure.
“What is this: a production defect or some premeditated actions?”
It was judged not to be serious enough to awaken the 6-member crew, and on Thursday the astronauts fixed the problem.
Now, however, it is being revealed that the hole was the not the result of a micrometeorite hit.
Dimitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, said yesterday that the hole was made by a drill, from the inside, and that the drill was held by a wavering hand as there were traces of it sliding along the surface as several attempts were made.
Rogozin asked, “What is this: a production defect or some premeditated actions?”
The hole is under investigation by a special commission involving RSC Energia, Roscosmos, and TsNIIMash, a Russian institute of space and rocket science, reports the Russian news agency RIA ovosti.
The same news agency reported that former cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, now a Russian federal politician, said he would not rule out the possibility that the hole was drilled by a “mentally unstable member of the ISS crew.”
The current crew of six astronauts aboard the ISS are:
- German Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency
- Americans Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA
- Russians Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos