The small hole aboard the International Space Station (ISS), which caused so much drama in August last year, is still sparking controversy, more than a year later. According to new reports, Russia already knows the source of the hole, but it does not appear that NASA was informed.
While talking to participants in a space science conference on youth science, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, revealed that the investigation into the incident was fruitful.
"[The hole] is alive. quarters [of the capsule] it has long since burned out when introduced. We took all the samples. We know exactly what happened, but we won't tell you anything, "he said, as reported by Russian state agency RIA Novosti. [1
The hole was discovered in August 2019 when astronauts aboard the ISS noticed that they were slowly but steadily losing air pressure.
A search of the station revealed the source – a small, 2mm hole in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft, the Roscosmos shuttle used for the aster ferry It arrives to and from the ISS. When it arrives, it attaches to the Rassvet module and is used as a living quarters and a potential life raft until part of it returns to Earth, carrying astronauts whose mission has ended.
Astronauts clog the epoxy hole and investigate, even conducting space trails to check the outer space of the spacecraft to determine if the hole was pierced by a micrometeroid – because if tiny rocks could drill holes in the ISS, valuable information.
It was later discovered that the hole was created by drilling, although accidentally or intentionally, either on earth or in space (the latter of which would be highly unlikely due to Newtonian physics), is yet to be discovered. The spacecraft landing module returned safely to Earth in December 2018, while detachable living quarters – complete with a hole – burned upon re-launch.
Roscosmos continued to investigate, and RIA Novosti reported that an error had been made during the production – which Rogozin quickly denied. What caused the hole is yet to be officially revealed.
Whether or not Rogozin's remarks were language or not, the results of the investigation are yet to be communicated to NASA, according to U.S. Agency Administrator Jim Bridenstein.  "They didn't tell me anything," Bridenstein told the Houston Chronicle during an energy conference. "I do not want to leave one element to be assigned (the link), but it is obviously unacceptable to have holes in the International Space Station."
He also said he would talk to Rogozin.
The connection between the two space agencies is extremely important for NASA, which closed its own shuttle program in 2011. Since then, it has relied on Russia's Soyuz program to transport its astronauts to the ISS, with a cost of $ 21.3 million to $ 81.9 million per two-way astronaut.
NASA's advanced supply missions are performed by Northrop Grumman's Dragon and Cygnus.
SpaceX is currently in the test phase of its Dragon 2 spacecraft and intends to launch its first astronaut flight. until November 15 this year. Boeing's CST-100 Starliner transport astronaut is also in the pipeline, hoping to ship by November 30th.
However, both projects are delayed, and whether they will meet these deadlines remains an open question.