The recently reported air pressure leak at the International Space Station was not caused by a micrometeorite, as initially believed, and the Russian space agency is not ruling out the possibility of sabotage.
The hole that caused the International Space Station air pressure leak was discovered to be made by a drill. Investigations are now underway on the incident.
ISS Leak Sealing Used Epoxy And Duct Tape
The International Space Station recently experienced a decline in air pressure, which is not good for a vessel that is in space. After a day of searching, a 2mm hole was discovered in the Russian section of the ISS. It may be small, but if it was left unfixed, all the air in the ISS would have escaped in only 18 days.
Amusingly, the first thing that was done to fix the damage was for European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst to plug the hole with his finger. The hole was later given a more effective, albeit still temporary, solution of epoxy and duct tape.
The cause of the hole was initially thought to be impact from a micrometeorite or other flying space debris. However, Russian space agency Roscosmos revealed that something more sinister may be in the works.
What Caused The ISS Air Pressure Leak?
According to Roscosmos, the hole that caused the ISS air pressure leak was not made by a micrometeorite, because the impact came from inside. The leak has since been attributed to a "technological error," as air was escaping through a drill hole that was accidentally made in the manufacturing process. The hole was plugged up, but the material that was used to do so was suddenly dislodged.
It remains unclear, however, if the hole was produced while the International Space Station was still on Earth, or when it was already in space. It is also undetermined if the hole was made accidentally, or deliberately.
"It was done by a human hand — there are traces of a drill sliding along the surface," Roscosmos said. "We don't reject any theories," the Russian space agency ominously added.
According to Russian space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin, the culprit behind the hole in the International Space Station will be identified. Rogozin noted that it is a "matter of honor" for Energia Rocket and Space Corporation, the maker of the affected Soyuz MS-09 module, to find the person responsible for the drill hole.
Sources claim that the person has already been found, and he explained that the hole was created by accident and with no malicious intent. There is no word yet on any punishment that may befall the employee, but at least the astronauts on the ISS are now safe.