The ISS Leak Issue Is Far From Over: It Might Have Damaged More Than the Hull

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If you thought that the mystery of the hole in the Russian capsule on the International Space Station was solved, think again. As the crew on board and the officials on Earth look into the issue, more details appear to surface.

According to Yuri Borisov, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, the Russian media “cast a shadow over our cosmonauts or American astronauts,” considered to be “absolutely unacceptable.” Borisov was talking about the Russian newspaper Kommersant which used information from “unnamed sources” that worked in the commission created to find the cause of the hole.

Further Damages: The Anti-meteorite Shield

Now, the Russian news group TASS reported that the hull wasn’t the only thing damaged by the drilling. They cited unnamed sources and wrote that the crew aboard the ISS analyzed the damage with an endoscope to see on the other side of the hole. The images and the video were sent back to Earth, where the Russian space agency seems to have discovered damage on the other side of the hull.

Right beside the hull is the anti-meteorite shield, which protects the capsule from space rocks. The source told TASS the following:

“Traces of drilling have been found not only inside the spacecraft’s living compartment, but also on the screen of the anti-meteorite shield that covers the spacecraft from the outside and is installed 15 millimeters away from the pressure hull. The top of the drill came through the pressure hull and hit the non-gastight outer shell.”

Whether it is true or not, it’s not comforting news for the crew members or their loved ones on Earth to know that the thing that has to take them home has a patched hole and an anti-meteorite shield down.

The TASS report contains more details on when the drill hole might have been done. The unnamed source stated that all the components of the capsule were photographed and there was no damage in those photos, which means the hole was made before all work was finished or during the inspection period.

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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.


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