ISS leak: Russian Federation says space station damage may be sabotage

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The pressure drop inside the global space station recorded 30 August. The crew aboard has not faced any direct danger, with European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst blocking the leak with his thumb. "The design engineers believe it is the result of a micrometeorite", he said. "I would like to know the name (of the culprit) and we will know".

"The rate of the leak was slowed this morning through the temporary application of Kapton tape at the leak site". The hole could have been drilled either on Earth before launch, or after the craft docked with the lab in space.

"The one about a meteorite impact has been rejected because the spaceship's hull was evidently impacted from inside". "But, it seems to be done by a faltering hand ... it is a technological error by a specialist".

"The Earth version is being checked, but there is another version that we do not dismiss: deliberate interference in space".

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Speaking to Russia's International News Agency RIA Novosti, Maxim Suraev said on-board sabotage by a mentally unstable crew member could not be ruled out. That's why the hole wasn't detected during pressurisation tests prior to the spacecraft's integration with the ISS.

Right now, there are six researchers on board the ISS; two from Russian Federation, three from NASA and the commander of the facility, a German astronaut of the ESA. "Someone messed up and then got scared and sealed up the hole", the source speculated, but then the sealant "dried up and fell off" when the Soyuz reached the ISS.

He added that the drill appeared to have been held by a "wavering hand".

Russian Space Agency Roskosmos has refrained from commenting on whether the damage to the Soyuz spacecraft could have been caused in the Baikonur World Space Center.

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Both Roscosmos and Energia will need to re-evaluate their internal processes to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

Sabotage? Incompetence? We'll know soon enough, as the Russian's are on it and promise a quick answer. He says the drilling equipment necessary to make the hole is available on board the space station, and points out that crew members aren't monitored around the clock.

They were able to successfully trace a small hole in a capsule that was utilized to deliver a new crew to the laboratory 400km above the Earth in June.

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