Russia is planning on solving the air leak mystery on the Soyuz capsule once and for all, which might mean that their astronauts must go on a spacewalk to see if the “deliberate sabotage” was or wasn’t manmade.
Last week, the Russian capsule revealed a small hole which was found after the pressure dropped in the ISS.
Roscomosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin stated that Russia believes it was a hole made with a drill, thus manmade. In their spacewalk investigation, astronauts could find out what plugged the two mm-wide hole until 30 August.
If this pressure drop hadn’t been noticed at all, in 18 days, the astronauts would have run out of oxygen.
According to Russian media, a space source stated:
“The possibility of conducting a spacewalk to examine from the outside the hole in Soyuz in now being considered. Possibly, they will be able to find the ‘plug’ that closed the hole before the August 30 emergency situation, or some other ‘evidence’.”
The source added that the spacewalk wouldn’t be carried out for that purpose. It will be a “routine maintenance” that will also include the investigation of what caused the leak.
Russian authorities added that they would consider “all possible versions” of the hole. Initially, they believed it was caused by a micrometeorite that crashed into the capsule’s hull. However, the place where the hole was showed that the meteorite theory was impossible.
According to NASA, the leak was fixed with special tape and a sealant.
The Soyuz capsule docked the ISS in June, meaning that the leak might have been created before being launched and plugged, lasting only two months.
Mr. Rogozin also theorized that someone drilled the spaceship from the inside. The Soyuz manufacturer Energia is investigating to find who drilled the capsule while it was on Earth.
Meanwhile, inside sources at the Russian space agency believe it was sabotage, in order to strain the relationship between Moscow and Washington.
Roscomosmos will publish a report of their investigation on 10 September.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere