This might have been lost in the relentless cacophony of absurdity that was all of the news of 2018, but do you by any chance remember how back in September the Russians found a hole that appeared to be deliberately drilled in the Soyuz module docked with the International Space Station? Today, they finally got out there to try and find out what the hell happened.
Quick recap: An air leak coming from the Soyuz module led astronauts to find a 2mm hole, one that was conclusively not made by a micrometeorite and was determined to be done over the course of several attempts by someone with a “wavering hand“, according to Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia’s space agency. Initially, they dealt with the hole by covering it with a figure, before it was covered up with tape, and then covered up properly with epoxy. How cool is space?
Pictured: Look at this hole, dude. (Image: NASA)
In a mission to try and figure out what happened, cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergey Prokopyev conducted a spacewalk to the site of the drilling, using knives and scissors to remove the insulation on the outside of the module.
In the 7 hour 45 minute expedition, the cosmonauts took extensive photos of the drilling site and collected material from around the hole to be sent back to the Earth for testing.
If the hole was indeed sabotage, it’s unclear where it would have been done while the module was in space or while it was being constructed back planetside. It also unclear what motivations someone would have in doing so.
Back when the hole was discovered, Russian MP and former cosmonaut Maxim Surayev suggested that the hole could have been drilled by someone who wanted to return home, although that that would have been a “really low” method.