Who actually drilled a hole in Soyuz MS-09: What's wrong in the new version of the most mysterious space emergency

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Who actually drilled a hole in Soyuz MS-09: What's wrong in the new version of the most mysterious space emergency

News sites citing a senior unnamed TASS source in the Russian rocket and space industry exploded with the headlines “A hole in Soyuz MS-09 was drilled in 2018 in zero gravity by a man unfamiliar with the structure of the spacecraft.”

Then, recall, 7 scratches and one through hole were found, but made in the thickest place of the lining of the household compartment. Air leak started. “The Russian cosmonauts, due to the situation with the hole in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, have passed a polygraph test, while the NASA astronauts refused it,” an anonymous source makes another transparent allusion. Like, well, it's still clear who is to blame.

However, it is strange that the news agency refers to a certain high-ranking employee of the space industry without giving his last name. After all, if this is a really high-ranking employee, then he is responsible for what he says. And if he refuses to introduce himself, the question arises – why? Do I have to trust what he says?

Finally, regarding the alleged oddities of the hole, which make one think that the drilled person did not know the structure of the space station … On board the ISS in August 2018, when everything happened, there was not a single person who did not know the structure of the space station. “Soyuz MS-09”. All people who were on the ISS – both cosmonauts and astronauts – before the flight, must undergo a course on mastering the spacecraft and pass exams as they are delivered to the station by Russian ships.

Indeed, the hole was drilled in zero gravity. However, this became clear a few days later, in September 2018. And that is why the unknown pest had to make as many as 8 attempts. It is quite difficult to work with a drill in zero gravity, and 7 times a person obviously tried on, tried to fit in to drill. It was possible to make a through hole only in the frame, which is twice as thick as the wall of the adjacent utility compartment – 4 mm versus 2 mm. From this fact, an unnamed interlocutor of the agency concludes that someone simply did not know that there was a thin wall nearby. However, experts found the answer to this riddle back in 2018. The investigation showed that it is possible to make a hole by resting the drill chuck on the frame. It is practically impossible to fix the drill in such a way as to drill a hole in the wall in a narrow compartment in zero gravity.

Is it possible to conclude that the Americans are to blame for the hole, only on the basis of the fact that they refused to pass a lie detector test? The fact is that if such an incident happened in the American segment, the Russian side would most likely act in a similar way. That is, I would also refuse to question the reputation of my cosmonauts.

But the fact that the Americans did not provide a video recording of a camera located nearby near the Rassvet module, they said that it was not working at that time is true. The fact that the drills on board were not given for examination – and with the help of analysis it was possible to find out what kind of material they were drilling – is also true. But this is not conclusive proof of the guilt of the American astronauts.

I think in the coming years we are unlikely to get a solution to the strangest crime committed in space. Unless in a few decades we will read in the memoirs of one of the astronauts who were then on board.

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