MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS/. A hole in the habitation compartment of Russia’s Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft was drilled by a person in zero gravity conditions in 2018 who was unfamiliar with the spaceship’s design, a high-ranking source in the domestic space industry told TASS on Thursday.
"Of eight holes, only one was a through puncture while the rest were drilled as if with drill bounces, which rather suggests drilling in zero gravity conditions without the required support," the source said.
There was also an attempt to drill a hole in the spacecraft’s frame, he added.
"That is, the drilling was done by a person who had not undergone training in the design of the Soyuz MS spacecraft," he noted.
Such damage could not have been done on Earth, as the spacecraft would not have passed tests in a vacuum chamber before its launch, the source stressed.
"Therefore, Roscosmos immediately ruled out the version of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft’s damage on Earth," he added.
On August 30, 2018, a drop in air pressure was detected aboard the International Space Station. It turned out later that the air was leaking through a hole in the habitation compartment of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. Specialists concluded that the hole had been drilled in the spacecraft’s hull from inside.
Head of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin announced in September 2019 that the Russian space agency knew the origin of the hole but would not disclose this information to the public.