Russia says space station leak may be sabotage

September 4, 2018
The International Space Station is one of the few areas of Russia-US cooperation that remains unaffected by the souring of diplomatic ties

Russia launched checks Tuesday after its space chief said an air leak on the International Space Station last week could have been deliberate sabotage.

Space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin said the hole detected Thursday in a Russian space craft docked at the orbiting station was caused by a drill and could have been done deliberately, either back on Earth or by astronauts in space.

Astronauts used tape to seal the leak after it caused a small loss of pressure that was not life-threatening.

"There were several attempts at drilling," Rogozin said late Monday in televised comments, adding that the drill appeared to have been held by a "wavering hand".

"What is this: a production defect or some premeditated actions?" he asked.

"We are checking the Earth version. But there is another version that we do not rule out: deliberate interference in space."

A state 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.

Asked for comment on allegations of possible sabotage, a NASA spokeswoman referred all questions to the Russian space agency which is overseeing the commission's analysis.

- 'Strange stunt'-

Rogozin had said the hole in the side of the ship used to ferry astronauts was most likely caused from outside by a tiny meteorite, but later admitted it had been ruled out.

A Russian MP who is a former cosmonaut suggested that a psychologically disturbed astronaut could have done it to force an early return home.

"We're all human, and anyone might want to go home, but this method is really low," Maxim Surayev of President Vladimir Putin's ruling party, told RIA Novosti state news agency,

"If a cosmonaut pulled this strange stunt—and that can't be ruled out—it's really bad," said Surayev, who spent two stints on the ISS.

"I wish to God that this is a production defect, although that's very sad, too—there's been nothing like this in the history of Soyuz ships."

Alexander Zheleznyakov, a former space industry engineer and author, told TASS state news agency however that drilling the hole in zero gravity would be nearly impossible in that part of the spacecraft.

"Why would cosmonauts do it?" he asked.

The hole is in a section of the Soyuz ship that will not be used to carry astronauts back to Earth.

A space industry source told TASS that the spacecraft could have been damaged during testing at Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan after passing initial checks and the mistake was then hastily covered up.

"Someone messed up and then got scared and sealed up the hole," the source speculated, but then the sealant "dried up and fell off" when the Soyuz reached the ISS.

Energiya will carry out checks for possible defects on all Soyuz ships and Progress unmanned ships used for cargo at its production site outside Moscow and at Baikonur, RIA Novosti reported Tuesday, citing a space industry source.

The ISS is one of the few areas of Russia-US cooperation that remains unaffected by the slump in relations and Washington's sanctions.

Russia's rockets used for launching spacecraft and satellites have suffered engine problems.

Currently on the ISS are two cosmonauts from Russia, three NASA astronauts and a German from the European Space Agency.

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Hawaii Rod
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2018
I am sure it was sabotage in space. While the cosmonauts were sleeping on the ISS, the other inhabitants snuck out on a secrets EVA to drill a hole in the Soyuz craft and then snuck back in. This must be one of the Russians who think the Moon landing was faked by Hollywood.
JuanitaBroaddricksUpperLip
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2018
You busted me. I took a helium balloon up with a cheap Black & Decker drill (1/8" bit). Guess I should have used 1/2".

On the plus side, no one saw or photographed me thanks to my Democrat Russian Collusion Invisibility Cloak.
antialias_physorg
3.9 / 5 (8) Sep 04, 2018
the other inhabitants snuck out on a secrets EVA to drill a hole in the Soyuz craft and then snuck back in.

Since they fixed it on the inside and the other traces of a drill having been applied several times in a 'wavering fashion' I'd hazard that the drilling wasn't done from the outside.
So either someone inside started drilling or someone made a hole during production (accidentally or deliberately).

It's pretty hard to believe that someone on the ISS would start drilling. That seems sorta...suicidal.

The drilling implements on the ISS should all be accounted for, so it should be possible to check if any of them fit the marks.
oldstupedasso
4.3 / 5 (4) Sep 04, 2018
To err is human but to lay it on someone else is cool, eh Tovarisch.
Anonym275661
5 / 5 (8) Sep 04, 2018
One lonely astronaut tries to hang a picture of his family and everyone freaks out about sabotage this, or explosive decompression that. I think everyone needs to just calm down, take a deep breath (if possible), and have a good conversation about what some sensible rules should be regarding interior decorating on the ISS.
DavidDcomments
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2018
I never did hear about how they located the leak. It seems to me that dry ice 'smoke' would be a good way to determine where a leak is.
As far as sabotage is concerned, who knows? It could have been the Russians themselves. Who would benefit from such accusations?
danR
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2018
Honestly, Rogozin, calm down.
What next?

"Hillary!" ? "Lock her up!" ?
baron_von_chilidog
2.5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2018
The pictures that were published with the original report did not show a drilled hole, they looked more like a hole made by an object on a ballistic trajectory, blasting a hole in metal.

My prediction is that the next event in the timeline will be a focus of blame outside the Russian sphere, and an ejection of American interests from this platform.
Beaniiman
not rated yet Sep 04, 2018
Clearly the "Space Force" is already at it.
chrilongski
4 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2018
Putin is following the same old formulaic, paranoid Russian dictator's script: Whip up xenophobia, paranoia, loathing of the West etc etc. And he becomes the country's savior and Fearless Leader, keeping the Dark Forces of the West at bay. Would be interested in seeing a picture of the damage to the Russian ISS module.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Sep 04, 2018
I never did hear about how they located the leak.

Pressure drop in a section should be obvious on the instruments. Also a leak isn't exactly noiseless.
sepsep
1 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2018
Globalist beleivers be THIS retarded. lol
chiraldude
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2018
If it is sabotage, it would have to be the Flat Earth Society. They are the only ones hurt by an international space station.
carbon_unit
not rated yet Sep 04, 2018
Clearly the "Space Force" is already at it.
Or someone is trying to convince us we need Space Force...
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2018
The pictures that were published with the original report did not show a drilled hole, they looked more like a hole made by an object on a ballistic trajectory, blasting a hole in metal
-Perhaps because you didnt look or youre just full of crap? Maybe you never drilled a hole other than the biological kind? Smelly troll perhaps?

WHERE are they coming from?

Pics from the inside show a symmetric hole with burrs on the interior, typical of a drilled hole from the other side.
https://bgr.com/2...teorite/

-So yes either incompetence or sabotage.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2018
I never did hear about how they located the leak. It seems to me that dry ice 'smoke' would be a good way to determine where a leak is
Its described in detail on the internet. Dont expect people here to find it for you. Try google.
Duude
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2018
Maybe on one of those low oxygen days, a confused cosmonaut thought he could get a cross wind with a little hole.....
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2018
This was relatively minor problem that very easily could have been due to a small construction defect that took years to manifest itself and was easily corrected. By trying to shift the blame elsewhere in an apparently knee-jerk reaction, Dmitry Rogozin is suggesting one possibility is an astronaut/cosmonaut on the ISS has essentially gone insane. Not only is that person trying to sabotage the ISS, they are so sloppy in their methods they didn't even cover their tracks. This is ridiculous and it is a very good bet the actual cause was simple mistake not insanity.

On a more humorous note, this reminds me of the comment by Captain Sharp in the movie Armageddon about Rockhound getting "space dementia." :-)
Da Schneib
3 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2018
Hmmmm. Is this something to threaten the Orange Russian Asset in the White House to get more sanctions reduced?

That's my first thought.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
3 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2018
And hopefully your last.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Sep 04, 2018
This was relatively minor problem that very easily could have been due to a small construction defect that took years to manifest itself
No_mark I know you like to guess but the pics are everywhere.
https://www.cnet....a-human/

Does that look like a defect to you?

Sergey: "I must drill hole in this wood piece. I will use hull for steady bracing. Oops."

But it looks like it was done on purpose.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 04, 2018
Clearly the "Space Force" is already at it.
says Bean

It hasn't been established yet, Beanie.
But the US Space Force (until they come up with a better name) will keep Communist China from taking over outer space, the Moon and the inner planets, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. It's to prevent a possible future hostile takeover and tyranny down here on Earth too.
Surveillance_Egg_Unit
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2018
Clearly the "Space Force" is already at it.
says Bean

It hasn't been established yet, Beanie.
But the US Space Force (until they come up with a better name) will keep Communist China from taking over outer space, the Moon and the inner planets, and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. It's to prevent a possible future hostile takeover and tyranny down here on Earth too.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2018
Otto, it is reckless to raise accusations of such a serious nature without a lot more solid evidence. Call it what you will, but it looks to me like somebody drilled the wrong hole by mistake. My guess is a simple error, possibly made years before on the ground when the Russian module was being assembled and less than perfectly patched up at that time, i.e., a MANUFACTURING DEFECT. I am not the first to suggest this and not every problem is a conspiracy.
MarkInHouston
5 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2018
The Space Station was sabotaged. After all, all foreigners are spies.......
Anonym464253
1 / 5 (1) Sep 04, 2018
Here is why I think it's sabotage which occured onboard the vessel...

1. As the author noted operating a drill in zero gravity would be next to impossible.
2. You can see the attempt to at least 3 tries.
3. If you look directly above where the hole is you can see a hole large enough for you to get a hand hold strong enough to steady yourself in zero G's to successfully drill a hole.
4. I would think someone who wanted to drill the hole on earth would have been able to do it without the drill wandering like it's shown in the image.

quite an interesting story.

Anonym464253
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2018
The positive thing about this here is a great duct-tape commercial coming out of all this.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
My guess
Yeah we KNOW its a guess.
is a simple error
It doesnt LOOK like an error.
possibly made years before on the ground when the Russian module was being assembled and less than perfectly patched up at that time
Wheres the evidence of a patch?
i.e., a MANUFACTURING DEFECT
The manufacturing process includes inspection and validation, a complex and lengthy process.
I am not the first to suggest this and not every problem is a conspiracy
Provide a recent ref then or admit you made it up.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
Yeah we KNOW its a guess.


You are guessing with incomplete facts just like the rest of us, but you are too _____ to admit it.

It doesnt LOOK like an error.


If you never made a mistake with a tool, that probably means you never seriously used a tool to build something. The person was trying to drill a hole, but they could have very easily been in the wrong spot.

Provide a recent ref then or admit you made it up.


Maybe you need to discover Google too. "TASS later reported Monday that the hole could have been caused accidentally by a worker on Earth. The news agency cited a source in the space rocket industry who said that a worker may have patched the hole with glue and that the patch later failed in orbit."

https://www.cnet....a-human/

Cusco
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 06, 2018
"Someone messed up and then got scared and sealed up the hole,"

That really does sound like the most reasonable explanation.

Also, did everyone miss where they say the hole is in the Soyuz module, **not** on the IIS?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Sep 06, 2018
You are guessing with incomplete facts just like the rest of us, but you are too _____ to admit it
No Im speculating without drawing conclusions. You draw conclusions that dont include relevant facts easily found on the internet.
The person was trying to drill a hole, but they could have very easily been in the wrong spot
Yeah. There are protocols to report, discover, and repair errors. And no its not a minor problem when leak alarms go off on a space station.
Mark Thomas
not rated yet Sep 06, 2018
No Im speculating without drawing conclusions.


That is bullshit Otto because you wrote, "So yes either incompetence or sabotage."

The irony here is I tend to agree, but I think simple incompetence is far, far more likely than you do and one should not raise the specter of sabotage without a heck of a lot more proof.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Sep 06, 2018
That is bullshit Otto because you wrote, "So yes either incompetence or sabotage."
uh that's 2 things. Whut other choices? Stray bullet? Did you look at the pics yet?
should not raise the specter of sabotage without a heck of a lot more proof
I didnt. The RUSSIANS did you pinhead. Didnt even read my link did you? Or the above article. Rather make shit up I guess.
savvys84
not rated yet Sep 12, 2018
heck why would any astronaut sabotage their own habitat?

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