Occasionally, out of the blue, I will be struck by the full force of the realisation that there are people living in space. While I’m eating cereal and staring at the wall like a dumbass, there are actual human beings just floating around in zero gravity, eating soup out of the same packets that baby food comes in. It is absolutely wild. And somehow, it gets even more wild, with the Russians suggesting that there might be sabotage afoot on the International Space Station.
The allegation follows on from news last week that a 2mm hole was found in a Russian Soyuz module that docked with the ISS in June. It was originally suggested that the hole, which began leaking atmosphere into the cold, unforgiving vacuum of space, was created by a micrometeorite, but that was later ruled out. The leak was not life-threatening, with one astronaut initially covering it with his finger. It was eventually fixed by astronauts covering it with a bit of tape, which… well, sure.
As the Guardian is reporting, chief of Russia’s space agency Dmitry Rogozin said in televised comments that he believed that the hole had been drilled, possibly deliberately, either back on Earth or in space, specifically by someone with a “wavering hand“:
What is this: a production defect or some premeditated actions? We are checking the Earth version. But there is another version that we do not rule out: deliberate interference in space.
Russian MP and former cosmonaut Maxim Surayev suggested that it could have been done by someone who wanted to go home early, because of space madness (our words). Conversely, Alexander Zheleznyakov, a former space engineer, told Russian news agency TASS that drilling a hole like that in that part of the craft while in zero gravity would be nearly impossible.
Drama! Intrigue! All of it in space! It’s weirdly satisfying saying ‘the Russians’ in relation to space!