Space station leak caused by man-made hole

So no meteorite? Reports say Russian Soyuz spacecraft depressurization caused by drilled hole

So no meteorite? Reports say Russian Soyuz spacecraft depressurization caused by drilled hole

The hole was discovered and patched last week.

It's also possible the drilling occurred while the space station was still grounded on Earth, said space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin.

"The version of the meteorite has already been swept away, but there was an obvious impact on the shelling of the ship from the inside, but to say more it is really too early".

"We are considering all theories", he said on Monday.

He added that the drill appeared to have been held by a "wavering hand".

Another theory, according to retired Russian cosmonaut Maxim Surayev, is that it was an astronaut in space responsible. Investigations revealed a 2-mm fracture in the hull of Soyuz MS-09.

After the hole was sealed the ISS was repressurise is now a Russian Progress cargo ship docked at the ISS and Moscow is recommending using oxygen from its tanks to repressurise the station.

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A commission will seek to identify the culprit by name, Rogozin said, calling this a "matter of honour" for Russia's Energiya space manufacturing company that made the Soyuz. An official at agency headquarters in Washington referred questions to Roscosmos.

It was not deemed serious enough to wake the crew, but the next morning the four astronauts and two cosmonauts making up Expedition 56 traced the leak to the upper module of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft docked to the Russian Rassvet module. 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.

One possibility, according to a space industry source speaking to the Russian state news agency TASS, is that the hole was the result of a botched fix.

"Flight controllers at their respective Mission Control centers in Houston and Moscow worked together with the crew to effect a fix option in which Soyuz commander Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos used epoxy (a resin) on a gauze wipe to plug the hole identified as the leak source". According to Roscosmos, the pressure is now holding stable.

Initial Russian media accounts speculated a technician mistakenly drilled the hole during pre-flight processing and then attempted to cover up the mistake.

RIA Novosti quoted a source at Energia saying "the hole was made on the ground".

The source added: "The person responsible for the act of negligence has been identified". After two months in orbit, the sealant apparently dried out, the source said, and was expelled by the cabin air pressure, opening up a leak.

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