Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russian space agency Roskosmos, confirmed on Monday that the hole drilled in the International Space Station that caused an oxygen leak was done deliberately. He made these remarks after a Russian agency submitted their investigation report to the agency.
"It concluded that a manufacturing defect had been ruled out which is important to establish the truth. Where it was made will be established by a second commission, which is at work now," said Rogozin, Phys.org reports.
Russian officials are now planning for a secondary investigation that could determine the people behind the sabotage. It was in August 2018 that a small hole in the wall of a Russian-made Soyuz capsule docked onto the ISS was initially spotted. The hole was quickly sealed up to prevent further damages.
However, It should be noted that a top government official in Russia had previously ruled out the possibility that US astronauts had drilled the hole in order to get a sick colleague sent back to Earth.
As the hole was spotted, officials put forward various theories explaining its cause. Initially, experts believed that the hole might have caused due to the hit of a micrometeorite on the spacecraft. After some days, Rogozin claimed that the hole in the ISS might be an act of sabotage. He revealed that the hole might have drilled either back on earth or in space.
Later, Russia and the US issued a joint statement stating that they will refrain from making any remarks about the cause of the hole until the investigation commission submits its report. In the statement, both the space agencies assured cooperation between NASA and Roscosmos technical teams while dealing with unexpected leaks. The statement also assured full confidence in the integrity of astronauts on board the International Space Station.