Russian State Duma deputy Maxim Suraev says the hole discovered last week in the “Soyuz” Russian module aboard the International Space Station may have been drilled deliberately by a mentally unbalanced, homesick cosmonaut.
“We’re all living people, and we might all want to go home, but going about it like this is completely disgraceful. If this was some cosmonaut’s trick (and we can’t rule it out), then this is very bad,” Suraev stated on September 4. He says the drilling equipment necessary to make the hole is available on board the space station, and points out that crew members aren’t monitored around the clock.
On August 30, Houston and Moscow noticed a drop in pressure aboard the ISS. Crew members later discovered the hole and German astronaut Alexander Gerst was kind enough to cork it with his finger, while his colleagues rigged a less-flesh-based plug made of rubber and vacuum-proof sealant. Russia’s national space agency says it’s still investigating whether the hole was drilled deliberately or in error, on the ground or in orbit.