Russia’s Roscosmos space agency has claimed that there were attempts to sabotage the International Space Station. An air leak was detected on Tuesday on the Russian Soyuz module that docked at the ISS. According to Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, the air leak was a result of a hole that was drilled deliberately – an act of sabotage.
Investigations into the air leak and the hole is underway. Rogozin claimed on media that the drilling may have been attempted either on Earth or during orbit. He further went on to state that preliminary assessment of the drilled hole indicated that the drill was apparently handled by an individual who held it waveringly.
The leak resulted in a loss of pressure and astronauts onboard fixed the leak with tape. The hole was not expected to cause life-threatening differences in air pressure within. Investigators are likely to look at the recorded evidence of the condition of the module while it was on Earth to understand if the premeditated drilling was carried out on Earth or in space.
Russia’s Energiya company manufactures the Soyuz module, which is used as a shuttle for astronauts. Rozogin went on state that it was a matter of honor for the company to get to the bottom of the truth. He had initially stated that the hole was likely to have been caused by a tiny meteorite, but changed his statement, admitting that the possibility of a meteorite was ruled out conclusively.
A NASA spokeswoman who was present during the media interaction directed all queries related to the leak to Roscosmos. There have been speculations as to the possible reasons for the drilled hole and the subsequent leak. A Russian cosmonaut claimed that it could have been possible that a homesick cosmonaut could have drilled the hole in an effort to head back home faster. Others, including a former space industry engineer, have discounted the possibility of the hole being drilled in space, citing that zero gravity would make it virtually impossible to carry out drilling.