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Hole in Soyuz MS-09’s hull was drilled when it was fully assembled, says industry source

September 06, 3:37 updated at: September 06, 4:16 UTC+3

Roscosmos’ commission is analyzing all possible reasons of the accident, including the one that the damage was done already after docking to the ISS

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© Sergey Savostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS/. A hole in the hull of the Russian Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft was drilled when the spaceship was fully assembled, a source in the space industry told TASS on Thursday.

"The hole was drilled when the spaceship was already assembled," he said, adding that the spacecraft's manufacturer, the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation had decided to check all manned Soyuz and cargo Progress spaceships, both those that are being assembled and those sent to the Baikonur space center.

"It is applicable to the Soyuz MS-10 and Soyuz MS-11 manned spaceships that are to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) in October and December, respectively. The Progress MS-10 cargo spacecraft that is to be launched in October will also be checked," the source said.

Efforts to identify those responsible for the damage done to the hull of the Russian Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft have been to no avail so far, a source in the space industry told TASS.

"No one has yet been identified. The commission of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation is still working," the source said.

An in-house commission of the Energia Rocket and Space Corporations that is probing into the accident at the International Space Station (ISS) has not yet arrived at a definite conclusion about the origin of the hole drilled in the hull of Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, a source in the space industry told TASS.

"There is no definite theory as of yet," the source said.

Two commissions are currently probing into the accident. Energia’s in-house commission is trying to identify the one who could drill the hole at the production stage and how it could be done. A commission of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos is considering all possible theories of the accident, including the one that damage was done after the docking to the ISS.

An in-house commission of the Eenergia Rocket and Space Corporations that is probing into the accident at the International Space Station (ISS) will finish its work by the end of the current week and will report its results to CEO of Russia’s state space corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin on September 10, a souse in the space industry told TASS on Thursday.

"The company’s (Energia RSC - TASS) in-house commission are to yield probe results at the end of the week. The results will be reported to Dmitry Rogozin on September 10," the source said.

The commission is looking at a theory that the hole in the spacecraft’s hull was drilled at the production stage. Roscosmos’ commission is analyzing all possible reasons of the accident, including the one that the damage was done already after docking to the ISS.

Roscosmos’ spokesman, Vladimir Ustimenko, told TASS the corporation refrains deom comments until its commission is through with the probe.

A drop in air pressure on the ISS occurred on August 30. The crew examined the compartments one by one to spot a tiny two-millimeter hole in the hull of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. In the evening of the same day it was patched up with several layers of epoxy resin. The pressure returned to normal. On August 31 the patch was reinforced.

Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin said the Soyuz MS-09 spaceship, docked to the ISS, had been damaged from inside and the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation was in the process of identifying those responsible. He also said that the impact of a meteorite had been ruled out. According to Rogozin, investigation is in progress into who had access to the spacecraft, what manipulations and works were performed, and who supervised them.

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