ISS airleak an accidental drill hole on ground

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The airleak last week on ISS in the orbital module of a Soyuz capsule was not caused by a micrometeorite but by an accidental drill hole made by a technician on the ground who then, rather than reporting it, sealed it and covered it up..

“The hole was made on the ground. The person responsible for the act of negligence has been identified,” the source told the news agency.

Another source said a worker apparently accidentally drilled the hole, but instead of reporting it, simply sealed it. The sealant held for at least the two months the Soyuz spacecraft spent in orbit, before finally drying up and being pushed out of the hole by air pressure.

According to a Moskovsky Komsomolets report, the hole was located near the toilet and covered by decorative fabric. The Russian crew members used an epoxy-based sealant with metallic additives to plug both the hole and a fracture in the outer hull of the Soyuz located behind it, the newspaper said.

Well, if anything is going to put an end to the resistance to using privately built American manned capsule, this should do it. This is also going to do a great deal of harm to the Russian desire to sell tourist seats on their Soyuz.

Posted from Heber, Arizona.



  • Col Beausabre

    Russian quality control – an oxymoron

    What did he try to seal it with? Beaumont Egg ?

    1. “Nor could they cater for the deceit of some unscrupulous foundries, whose employees would disguise poor castings with lead or Beaumont’s Egg; a mixture of beeswax, fiddler’s rosin, finest iron borings and lamp black.”

    2. “After the Tay Bridge disaster in Scotland in 1879, the court of enquiry found that the failure of the bridge had been due in part to lack of bracing. However, it also came to light that blow holes in the cast iron pillars had been filled with a substance known as Beaumont Egg which if I remember correctly was some sort of witches brew of iron filings, beeswax, varnish etc.

    ” Old-time manufacturers were not so concerned about the quality of the castings they used – and had no qualms about applying a filler composed of lamp black, fiddler’s rosin and iron filings or “borings” to cover up faults in the metal (an alternative was a mixture of sulphur, cast iron siftings and sal-ammoniac). The first mix, almost universally used, was known in the foundry trade as ‘Beaumont’s Egg’ , possibly from a corruption of “beamontage”, a filler used in the furniture trade. To hide minor faults in a casting Beaumont’s Egg was run into blow holes and porous areas by melting it with a hot iron bar followed by rubbing down to make it almost undetectable. As an interesting aside the supplier of the cast-iron columns that collapsed in the Tay-bridge disaster used ‘Beaumont’s Egg’ to cover his poor workmanship.”

    It’s good to see that tradition is being upheld in Mother Russia

  • Mitch S

    Handyman methods work in space too.
    They temporarily fixed it with duct tape and permanently fixed it with JB Weld!

  • @ Col Beausabre: Impressive, sir. The comments on this blog can be as edifying as the posts.

    “The person responsible for the act of negligence has been identified,” the source told the news agency.”

    That certainly sounds like 20 years in the gulag.

  • wayne

    Armageddon –
    Space Station scene

  • Localfluff

    @Mitch S
    “Handyman methods work in space too.”
    Well, there’s vacuum and huge temperature changes and weightlessness and radiation and atomic oxygen and electric charging of the hull and whatnot to account for too when patching up a hull on a spacecraft. Handyman methods work for sure, but different such.

  • pzatchok

    At this stage in the development of the space craft why are they STILL hand drilling holes in spaces close to the skin of the craft?

    Those holes should be known and documented and drilled long before the skin gets placed on the craft.

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