The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) says it has completed an investigation into a “hole” found in the Soyuz spacecraft when it docked at the International Space Station in 2018.
Not only that, a representative of Roscosmos told the newspaper RIA Novosti of Russia that it has sent the results of the investigation to law enforcement officials. Roscosmos said: “All findings related to the vulnerability in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft’s residence module have been forwarded to law enforcement officials.”. No further details are provided.
In Russia, when the results of such an investigation are sent to law enforcement, it means allowing officials to decide whether or not to initiate a criminal case, and this is like the issuance of an indictment. Russia doesn’t have a grand jury system like in the US, where investigators hand their evidence over to prosecutors, who decide whether to press charges.
Although none of the astronauts were in danger in the end, the incident in August 2018 confused Russian space officials. At that time, a 2 mm hole was detected in the orbiting module of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft as it docked to the International Space Station. Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst and NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor flew to the station inside this Soyuz spacecraft in June.
If left unchecked, this small hole will depressurize the station for about two weeks. However, the astronauts were able to patch the hole with epoxy, and the Soyuz spacecraft brought all three, Prokopyev, Gerst, and Auñón-Chancellor back to Earth safely on the final day of a six-day mission. their month.
Who did that?
Since then, the focus of the story has revolved around what – or who – may have caused the hole. An attack by space junk was soon ruled out. Some Russian media reported that this vulnerability was due to a manufacturing or testing error, and this seems to be the most plausible hypothesis. At the same time, however, sources within the Russian government were beginning to leak rumors, saying that perhaps the disgruntled NASA astronaut had drilled the holes.
Russia’s state news service, TASS, escalated the matter in April of this year, when it published an allegation that Auñón-Chancellor suffered “an acute psychological crisis” after suffering a seizure. deep vein thrombosis in space. This is why she drilled these holes, in an effort to expedite their early return to Earth. NASA denied the allegations at the time.
Now, with the announcement that the investigation is complete, Russian officials have launched another conspiracy theory. In the article of RIA Novosti, the publication cites reports that Auñón-Chancellor may have drilled the hole “due to stress following an unsuccessful romantic relationship with another crew member.”
NASA, once again, strongly asserts that the attacks on female astronaut Auñón-Chancellor are unfounded.
“These attacks are untrue and lack credibility,” NASA administrator Bill Nelson said. “I fully support Serena and stand behind all of our astronauts.”
According to NASA, these personal attacks are actually the wrong thing to do. The Houston-based agency was able to immediately determine that pressure began to drop on the space station in late August 2018. NASA also knew the exact locations of American astronauts on the station before the crash. the leak occurs – as well as at the time it started. None of the American astronauts on the station were near the Russian region where the Soyuz vehicle docked. American officials shared this data with the Russians at the time.
And this latest provocation has angered NASA officials and the astronauts’ office. On November 15, the Russian military shot down its own satellite in a test, an act that forced the space station astronauts to shelter inside their spacecraft for more than two years. now because of concerns about debris. A spacewalk scheduled for the morning of November 30 was also postponed at the last minute due to concerns about debris.
The United States and Russia have been more or less friendly partners in the space sector for the past three decades. However, this space alliance seems to be disintegrating, with tensions gradually exacerbated by Russia’s recent inexplicable provocations.
The head of Russia’s space sector, Dmitry Rogozin, will meet in person with Bill Nelson next year in Russia. Perhaps then, Mr. Rogozin will use the meeting time to explain the strange and aggressive actions towards NASA and US astronauts over the past time.