Bridenstine will ask Russia for explanation about drill hole


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NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine, when asked by journalists about the decision by Russia to keep secret the origins of the drill hole in a Soyuz capsule that caused a leak on ISS, said he will politely beg Russia for some answers.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine vowed Thursday to speak to the head of the Russian space agency after reports that the cause of a hole found on the International Space Station last year would be kept secret.

But he was careful to point out that he doesn’t want this situation to destroy the country’s relationship with Russia, a partner in space since 1975. “They have not told me anything,” Bridenstine told the Houston Chronicle during a question and answer session at a Houston energy conference. “I don’t want to let one item set (the relationship) back, but it is clearly not acceptable that there are holes in the International Space Station.”

Sure, let’s not offend those Russians so we can keep flying Americans on their capsules, even though they won’t tell us who drilled a hole in a Soyuz capsule prior to launch, then patched it badly so that it began leaking after a few months in space.

This kind of logic could only make sense in Washington government circles.

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One comment

  • Edward

    What kind of relationship do we have with Russia, when they are reluctant to tell us of such important safety issues? Has NASA been this recalcitrant in the past with Russia, making this some sort of tit-for-tat action? Are we keeping important safety issues from them? Is this relationship as good as we expected or has it already been set back by Russia’s reluctance to be forthcoming about other important issues? What else are they keeping from us that we don’t know about because the underlying problem never became publicly known or even known to NASA?

    Has Soyuz ever been as safe as we have been led to believe?

    Russia and NASA may have only been lucky in the past with their use of Soyuz. Luck is not a good way to engineer or operate spacecraft. Knowing the system and the processes is very important, such as the process for assuring that holes are not drilled where they shouldn’t be, and if they should happen to occur, that they are properly dealt with.

    The Russians are not the only ones with a need to know these things. Russia’s partners, customers, and passengers also have a need to know. Informed decisions cannot be made without such knowledge.

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