The Russian space agency, Roscosmos has said that it has the details about what caused the air leak in its Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft which was docked at the International Space Station (ISS) back in 2018, but it wants to keep it a secret from NASA, which is its key partner at ISS.
In fact earlier this month, the Director-General of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin was quoted as saying “we won’t tell you anything,”. Rogozin said that his space agency knows where did the hole in its Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft came from, but they would not disclose the information. So was there some sort of human involvement that led to the small hole?
Russia’s TASS news agency reported that Rogozin, during a meeting with students at the Ustinov Baltic State Technical University (Voenmeh) in St. Petersburg said, “The hole was found in the spacecraft’s habitation module, which had burned up long ago. We collected all the necessary samples and it is clear to us what happened,”.
In response to Rogozin’s statement given by the Russian media, the NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that he will speak to his Russian counterpart regarding this. “They have not told me anything,” Bridenstine was quoted in a report to the Houston Chronicle.
“I don’t want to let one item set (the relationship) back, but it is clearly not acceptable that there are holes in the International Space Station,” he told Houston Chronicle.
Now, according to a space industry source to TASS news agency, someone may have made the tiny hole before the launch of the spacecraft to the ISS, and concealed it with a sealant plug from the outside.
The ongoing developments come amid the upcoming launch of Russia’s Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft on Wednesday, September 25. The Soyuz MS-15 is a manned spacecraft which will take three three crew members, including one NASA astronaut to the ISS.
Back in August 2018, the Soyuz MS-09 capsule’s habitation module was found to have a small hole in it which caused loss of pressure inside the capsule and could have leaked the oxygen within 18 days had it gone unnoticed.