The Russian space agency Roscosmos has threatened action against an astronaut over a mysterious 2-mm hole in the spacecraft.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos has threatened action against NASA astronauts over a 2-mm-sized hole in the side of one of its spacecraft in 2018.
The agency appears convinced that the hole was drilled by ISS crew member Serena Auón-Chancellor while the Russian Soyuz MS-09 vessel docked.
Russian news agency TASS said the hole was “drilled in weightlessness by a person not familiar with the spacecraft’s design”.
A loss of air pressure was detected on the ISS on August 30, 2018. Investigations revealed that air was leaking through a hole in the Russian spacecraft’s housing compartment. Experts in orbit concluded that the hole was drilled from the inside in the spacecraft’s hull.
Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin announced in September 2019 that the agency was aware of the hole’s origins, but declined to make the information public at the time.
“All the results of the investigation regarding the hole in the housing module of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft were transmitted to law enforcement authorities,” Roscosmos said over the weekend.
Russian crew members responded quickly after finding the hole, plugging it with several layers of epoxy resin to stabilize cabin pressure. It was initially believed to have been caused by a small meteorite colliding with the capsule, prompting the astronauts to use tape to seal the hole after a loss of pressure.
“If it had a hole, the pressure in this ship would have dropped immediately and it would not have passed the appropriate test. Thus, Roscosmos immediately ruled out the version of damage to Soyuz-MS-09 on Earth,” TASS reported. .
Russian newspaper izvestia said that insiders informed him that Aun-Chancellor, an ISS crew member, took action to “accelerate her return to Earth” after suffering from mental health issues in space. The Russian news outlet also said that sources told them the crew member had a “fight with her boyfriend on the ISS”.
TASS escalated the issue in April when it alleged that Aun-Chancellor had “an acute psychological crisis” while in space.
Despite the claims, Aun is married to husband Jeff Chancellor, further muddying the waters for NASA as it relates to accusations from the Russian press and the space sector.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson entered into controversy defending American astronauts against “false attacks”.
“These attacks are false and have no credibility,” he said. Ars Technica, “I fully support Serena and stand behind all of our astronauts.”
Kathy Leiders, the head of human spaceflight for NASA, also went on the front foot against the Russian press for the public attack.
“NASA astronauts, including Serena Auón-Chancellor, are highly respected, serve their country, and make invaluable contributions to the agency,” she said in August. “We stand behind Serena and her professional conduct. We do not believe there is any credibility to these allegations.”
The controversial development occurred when the crew of the International Space Station were forced to seek refuge after a Soviet-era satellite was destroyed by a Russian missile. The resulting debris created a rubble field with thousands of pieces.
“Due to debris resulting from the disastrous Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and astronauts performed emergency procedures for safety,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.
According to reports, this was the first such Test from Moscow. This audio clip, recorded from a NASA feed, captures Mission Control’s initial communications with the crew aboard the ISS as they began coordinating safety protocols in light of the satellite’s destruction.
There are currently seven people aboard the ISS, including two Russian cosmonauts. According to NASA, after taking initial precautionary measures, the crew took refuge inside spacecraft docked at the space station – a Russian Soyuz and a SpaceX Dragon capsule.
“The crew members made their way to their spacecraft shortly before 2 a.m. EST and remained there until about 4 p.m. ..,” NASA said Monday.
“The space station is passing through or near cloud every 90 minutes, but the need for shelter for only the second and third passes of the event was based on a risk assessment conducted by the Debris Office and ballistic experts at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Houston.”
Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin is due to meet in person with NASA boss Nelson in Russia next year.