3 Sep 2018 21:11

Theory of external impact on Soyuz not considered, inside part shows traces of drill - Rogozin

MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) - The exact cause of the loss of pressure on the Soyuz spacecraft docked to the International Space Station will be established by a commission, but the theory of an external impact on the ship has already been dismissed, Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said.

"We are considering all theories. The meteorite theory, though, has already been rejected because there was a clear impact on the ship's casing from within," Rogozin told reporters.

"To say that it was so is not possible yet. The impact was [done] by an unsure hand, we can reduce the theory about this having been some technological error by some specialist. A drill hitting the surface," Rogozin said.

For now, all theories are under consideration, he said. "It is a matter of honor for RSC [Rocket Space Corporation] Energia to find the one who did it. What was it: a defect or some intentional acts. Where were these acts carried out? On the earth or already on the orbit? Yet again, I am saying: we are not dismissing anything," Rogozin said.

The Russian cosmonauts and ground specialists who restored the pressure on the casing have yet to establish the exact cause, he said.

"We would like to know the first and last name [of the person responsible]. We definitely will," Rogozin said.

He recalled that the Soyuz MS-09, made in Korolyov in 2017, arrived at Baikonur on February 18, 2018. Currently the commission investigating the incident is examining the technological maps of the ship's production and the names of everyone who had access to its construction.

The investigation also focuses on a possibility that the ship was damaged when it was already in space, Rogozin said.

"Because if someone did use this sort of tools, they would know that you need to apply force in order to drill a hole in the right place. And there seems to have been several attempts at applying a drill, a drill missing [the mark]. A very interesting story. We are investigating," Rogozin said.