The tiny hole aboard the International Space Station (ISS), which caused so much drama last August, is still controversial a year later. According to recent reports, Russia now knows the source of the hole, but it does not look like NASA has been informed.
During a conversation with participants in a scientific youth conference on cosmonautics, Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, revealed that the investigation of the incident had been fruitful.
"[The hole] was in the living We took all the samples We know exactly what happened, but we will not tell you anything," he said, as the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported. 19659003] "We have to maintain a kind of secrecy," he added, probably as an ironic comment in the face of his young audience.
The hole was discovered in August 201
A search of the station revealed the source – a tiny 2-millimeter hole in the Soyuz spacecraft MS-09, the Roscosmos shuttle that carried astronauts to and from the ISS. Upon arrival, he docks to the Rassvet module and is used as a living space and potential life raft until part of it returns to Earth with astronauts whose mission is completed.
The astronauts plugged the hole with epoxy resin and tape and began an investigation. They even made a spacewalk to examine the outside of the spacecraft to see if the hole was hit by a micrometeorite – because tiny rocks could punch holes in it. The ISS, that would be valuable information.
Later it was discovered that the hole was made by a drill, whether accidentally or intentionally or on the ground or in space (the latter would be highly unlikely) (due to Newtonian physics) has not yet been revealed. The landing module of the spacecraft returned safely to Earth in December 2018, while the segregated living area – including the hole – caught fire on reentry during manufacture – which Rogosin quickly denied. What has caused the gap is not yet officially known.
Whether Rogozin's remarks were ironic or not, the findings of the investigation must still be linked to NASA, according to Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of the US agency.
] "You have not told me anything," Bridenstine told the Houston Chronicle during an energy conference. "I do not want to allow an item (the relationship) to be reset, but it is clearly unacceptable that the International Space Station has holes."
He also said he would talk to Rogozin.
The relationship between the two space agencies is of great importance to NASA, which shut down its own shuttle program in 2011. Since then, she relies on the Russian Soyuz program to transport her astronauts to the ISS. The costs range from $ 21.3 million to $ 81.9 million per astronaut and return flight.
NASA's unmanned replenishment missions are handled by SpaceX's Dragon and Northrop Grumman's Cygnus.
SpaceX is currently testing its Dragon 2 crew spacecraft and intends to launch its first astronaut flight by November 15 this year. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner Astronaut Transport is also under development and hopes to launch a crew by November 30th.
However, both projects were affected by delays and it remains unclear whether they will meet these deadlines.