The 2-mm hole seems trivial if it does not concern the space and the life of the crew members of the International Space Station. On March 6, 2019, Dmitry Rogozin signed an order for the installation of cameras in the Russian part of the orbital station. But why and what will it give?
Danger in orbit
The story began even August 30, 2018. The system recorded a decrease in air pressure. The crew began to look for a problem and noticed a hole on board the Russian spacecraft Soyuz, docked with the orbital laboratory.
The astronauts used special heat-resistant tape to seal the hole, and the oxygen leak stopped. After everyone was convinced that there was no longer any threat to the life of the crew, the question arose: “And how did this hole appear at all? ”.
At first, the main culprit was the strike of a small meteorite. However, this version was quickly rejected. A more unpleasant suspicion arose - this is the work of the person who drilled a part of the ship from the inside. But who?
We should understand that the ISS is hosting cosmonauts from different countries, but most of the time is divided by Americans and Russians. The first reckless suspicions were put forward by Roskosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin. He first stated that a hole could be drilled in space. Moreover, since this is a Russian ship, he began hinting at the actions of Americans. Russian media only aggravated the situation, but the politicians nevertheless tried to settle the situation without early accusations. At that time, everything was peaceful on the orbital station. So far this is the only place where they try to still less affect politics and engage in space research (although this does not always work out - “Why China is not allowed to go to the International Space Station”).
Investigation in space and on Earth
Since the meteorite factor was dropped, it was necessary to look for the guilty among people. There was a suspicion: “What if a hole was still made on Earth?”. The charges fell against the rocket and space corporation “Energy”. They organized a special commission investigating the case at the place of the creation of the parts and at the assembly point in Baikonur.
They suspected that the hole appeared because of marriage at work or because of the malicious action of some offended employee. But the video surveillance check and documentation gave nothing. Dmitry Rogozin said that “Energia” has nothing to do with this, although some believe that the Roscosmos director is simply beneficial to cover the corporation.
Back to the Americans again. It was thought that the hole was intentionally made to urgent delivery of astronaut Serine Aunen-Chancellor to Earth for medical reasons. But this is a ridiculous argument, because in case of a serious problem, she could report to the American reception point and there they would agree on a premature return.
In order to finally answer all the questions, December 11 two Russian cosmonauts (Sergey Prokopiev and Oleg Kononenko) performed a space walk, removed part of the skin (then all were sealed) and examined the hole from the outside. They also took samples that would be delivered to Earth for further research. Prokopiev only mentioned that the hole was indeed drilled from the inside, but added that he did not suspect the crew members.
Recall that the passions are observed on Earth, while in space, astronauts and astronauts continue to coexist peacefully. However, as already mentioned above, on March 6, Rogozin nevertheless decided to install cameras of video surveillance in the Russian part of the orbital station.
It should not be forgotten that this is a complicated procedure. It is necessary to deliver the necessary equipment to orbit, as well as to teach the next astronaut how to install and connect these cameras. By the way, the choice of locations (where they will be installed) will be taken by representatives from RSC Energia.
The solution still seems a bit strange. Even if someone made a hole in space, it is unlikely to repeat again, as this will increase the suspicion. Then who is Dmitry Rogozin going to follow or what? Moreover, it is rumored that part of the conclusions from the commission of inquiry into the incident remained classified. Therefore, it is possible that we will not be informed about the results of analyzes of the extracted samples during the space walk. It remains only to wait and watch.