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That hole in the International Space Station was caused by a drill, not a meteorite, and the search is on for the culprit
Last week, astronauts aboard the International Space Station woke to an alarm warning them of a pretty serious situation. The space station was losing pressure, which means a leak had formed somewhere on the spacecraft. With a finite amount of breathable air, the race was on to find the location of the leak and do something to fix it.
It wasn't long before a tiny hole was discovered in the Russian-built Soyuz spacecraft docked to the space station. The tiny opening was thought to be the result of damage from a micrometeorite, which isn't unheard of, and the crew quickly came up with a plan to repair it. Now, days later, Russian space agency Roscosmos says the hole wasn't made by Mother Nature, but by a person with a drill, and tensions are high.
The images of the hole are pretty damning. It doesn't look much like the result of a fast-moving space rock, and certainly appears to be drilled. There even appears to be marks on the paint-covered metal from where a drill bounced along the surface before finding purchase and slicing its way through.
So, who did it?
As ScienceAlert reports, this whodunit has taken a seriously wild turn over the past day or two. No, this isn't a Clue-like scenario where one of the six members of the current ISS crew is the baddie; Roscosmos believes the hole was drilled in the spacecraft prior to it ever leaving Earth, and they're searching for the individual in the manufacturing process who is responsible for it.
Multiple unnamed sources have spoken with Russian media outlet RIA Novosti and hinted that an internal investigation at the corporation that builds the spacecraft, Energia, has already yielded results. According to those sources, the person has been identified and apparently explained that the hole was drilled by accident and not with malicious intent. A fabric seal was placed over the hole to hide the mistake, and it lasted a couple of months before eventually breaking open in space.
No word yet on what kind of punishment, if any, the individual will suffer, but sending a manned spacecraft into the sky with a hole in the side is obviously a pretty serious misstep.
Russia launched checks Tuesday after its space chief said an air leak on the International Space Station last week could have been deliberate sabotage. Space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin said the hole detected Thursday in a Russian space craft docked at the orbiting station was caused by a drill and could have been done deliberately, either back on Earth or by astronauts in space. "There were several attempts at drilling," Rogozin said late Monday in televised comments.
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron picked a political ally and a former swimming world champion to plug two holes in his government left by the unexpected resignations of the environment and sports ministers.
Japan announced evacuation warnings affecting more than 1 million people and canceled hundreds of flights Tuesday as Typhoon Jebi, the strongest storm to hit the nation in 25 years, battered the country’s west coast.
A new way to capture the power of the sun and successfully split water into hydrogen and oxygen by altering how plants conduct photosynthesis has been invented by scientists. Plants convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis, which releases oxygen into the air when plants split water molecules to gain energy. Almost all of the Earth's oxygen, which animals need to breathe, is produced via photosynthesis - and hydrogen is a potentially unlimited source of renewable energy.
The talks, which have been little reported on so far and which were described to Reuters by Chilean officials and an astronomer, are aimed at fuelling growth in Amazon.com Inc's cloud computing business in Latin America and boosting its data processing capabilities. President Sebastian Pinera's center-right government, which is seeking to wean Chile's $325 billion economy from reliance on copper mining, announced last week it plans to pool data from all its telescopes onto a virtual observatory stored in the cloud, without giving a timeframe. The government talked of the potential for astrodata innovation, but did not give details.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has voided the amnesty of one of his most outspoken critics, ordering police to arrest the Senator who has accused him of profiting from the illegal drugs trade and plotting to assassinate him.
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