Soyuz capsule was drilled after it was fully assembled


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The investigation into the drillhole leak in the Soyuz capsule docked to ISS has revealed that it had to have been done after the capsule was fully assembled.

“During the analysis of those images, traces of drilling were found on the anti-meteorite shield,” the source said, adding that “the top of the drill came through the pressure hull and hit the non-gastight outer shell.”

According to another industry source, the non-gastight anti-meteorite protection is installed right before the spacecraft is taken to the final assembly workshop. “When Soyuz MS-09 has just arrived to the final assembly workshop, it was photographed in details. No hole and no signs of drilling… were found. The spacecraft was drilled later, when it was fully assembled,” the source said. He added that the anti-meteorite shield was also photographed before being installed, and no traces on it were found as well.

The source suggested that the spacecraft could be damaged either during the very last stage of works or during its 90-day stay in the checkout stand, adding that it was highly unlikely that the damage occurred during the transportation to the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan or at the launch facility.

This narrowing of the time frame for the drilling will increase the chances that the Russians will be able to identify who did.

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5 comments

  • Kirk

    The space industry source told TASS that before the hole was sealed, the cosmonauts conducted photo-and video surveillance of the hole with an endoscope.

    My first thought was “through a 2mm hole?“, but a quick search found such cameras down to 1.2 mm. Wow!

  • Mike Borden

    from roberts ISS airleak an accidental drill hole on ground article

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

    So did they find the person responsible? Or did they lie?

  • Mike Borden: I noticed this too. In fact, I should have mentioned the contradiction in my post.

    Did they lie? Maybe. Or it could have been spin pushed by the news source. Or it could have been simply a mistake. None of this would surprise me.

  • wodun

    Kirk

    The space industry source told TASS that before the hole was sealed, the cosmonauts conducted photo-and video surveillance of the hole with an endoscope.

    My first thought was “through a 2mm hole?“, but a quick search found such cameras down to 1.2 mm. Wow!

    Well, the smaller the scope, the more comfortable it is for the patient. ;-)

  • Michael Dean Miller

    Drilling the pressure cabin after completion is attempted murder, isn’t it?

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