The International Space Station (ISS) astronauts rely on the thin body of the station to protect them from space vacuum. Even a minor offense could characterize the disaster for the station and its team, so field staff carefully monitors the conditions. It's a good thing, too. The team was warned of a drop in the pressure in September last year, which led to the discovery of a small hole in the Russian Allied capsule attached to the station. This has been the subject of many speculation, but former ISA commander Alexander Gerst now says he believes the hole was caused by unsuccessful repair work.
A subsequent investigation into the damage to the Soyuz was a roller coaster and a demonstration of the declining US-Russia relations. Initially, NASA believes that the hole is a result of micrometeouroid impact. However, closer inspection showed several cliffs and scratches that could have been made by exercise. Because the damage was inside the Russian spaceship, Roscosmos was in charge of the investigation. Russian news sources and officials have repeatedly speculated that the hole is a result of deliberate sabotage, even going so far as to cast aspirations on the crew of the ISB.
Affected capsule Soyuz left for IC in June 2018 with three passengers: Russian Sergei Prokopiev, German Alexander Gerst and Serena Aujon-Chancellor of the United States. Gerst returned to Earth last month, and recently sat on an interview with BBC Radio 4. When asked about the hole, he had less sensational taking. He believes that someone on the ground damaged the spacecraft and improperly repaired it.
According to Gurst, the hole was probably caused by an exercise, not the type of astronauts to work on the ISB ship. The 2 millimeter hole in the capsule caused a drop in pressure at the station, but it was never life-threatening for the crew. The hole had a small place for sticking to the top, indicating that someone had tried to repair the damage, said Gerst. If the intercept fails while the capsule is heading to the ISS, the crew could be at greater risk due to the smaller volume of the Alliance compared to the entire ISS.
So, the question remains: who made the hole? There is at least one similar example of damage to the exercise of the Soyuz capsule. In that case, one worker on the ground damaged the spacecraft and attempted to conceal the error with an epoxy patch. The damage was discovered pre-launch, though. The odds have alike happened this time, but no one has noticed the damage on time. It's not as sexy as space conspiracy, but few things are.