It’s a space mystery for the ages. A little over a year ago, something (or someone) punctured a small hole in the Russian Soyuz MS-09 capsule causing a slight loss of pressure in the International Space Station (ISS). And since then, that little tiny hole, about 2 millimeters wide, has poured a fury of conspiracy theories down to Earth.
This week, Russia’s space agency Roscomos announced that it has finally identified the cause of the leak. But the space agency is keeping the findings sealed airtight.
During a recent meeting, Roscomos Director General Dmitry Rogozin declared, “What happened is clear to us, but we won’t tell you anything,” according to Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
When the leak was first discovered on August 29, 2018, it was believed that a small meteorite may have nicked the space station as the astronauts slept onboard.
Shortly after, however, Russia was quick to point a finger of blame at NASA astronauts for purposely sabotaging the Russian spacecraft.
“It is too early to say definitely what happened. But, it seems to be done by a faltering hand… it is a technological error by a specialist.” Rogozin was quoted as saying in September 2018. “It was done by a human hand — there are traces of a drill sliding along the surface. We don’t reject any theories.”
The rumors were further fueled by Russian media, blaming the astronauts as they orbited 250 miles above Earth.
NASA and Roscomos then held a joint meeting, where they announced that they were launching a collaborative investigation into the incident, according to a statement by NASA.
“The Administrator and the General Director noted speculations circulating in the media regarding the possible cause of the incident and agreed on deferring any preliminary conclusions and providing any explanations until the final investigation has been completed,” the statement read.
It’s unclear what may have changed since then to cause Russian officials to say, Nope.
But NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is still looking for answers, as he told the Houston Chronicle on Thursday that he plans on holding a meeting with Rogozin soon to get to the bottom of this.
“They have not told me anything,” Bridenstine was quoted as saying.