Soyuz spacecraft fracture caused by human error: Roscosmos

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Moscow, Sep 5 (IANS) The air leak in the Soyuz spacecraft that resulted in loss of cabin pressure, was a technological error done by a human hand, state space agency Roscosmos has said.

Flight controllers had detected a tiny leak on MS-09 crew ship aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as pressure dropped overnight on August 30.

While various theories, including a meteorite impact, were being considered for the leak, it was done by a human hand and there are traces of a drill sliding along the surface, Space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin was quoted as saying by the Tass.com.

“We are considering all the theories. The one about a meteorite impact has been rejected because the spaceship’s hull was evidently impacted from inside. However it is too early to say definitely what happened,” he said.

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“But, it seems to be done by a faltering hand… it is a technological error by a specialist. It was done by a human hand – there are traces of a drill sliding along the surface. We don’t reject any theories,” Rogozin added.

The source of the air leak was traced to a 2mm fracture in the hull of the Russian manned Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft docked to the orbital outpost.

Russia’s Mission Control Center instructed Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Sergei Prokopyev to plug the hole in the space vehicle with the epoxy-based sealant.

According to Roscosmos’s data, pressure on the orbital outpost is holding stable after the repairs and no new leaks have been detected, the report said.

However, the agency is determined on finding “the one responsible for that…whether it was an accidental defect or a deliberate spoilage and where it was done – either on Earth or in space,” Rogozin said.

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“Now it is essential to see the reason, to learn the name of the one responsible for that. And we will find out, without fail,” he pledged.

–IANS

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