Amid increasing fear of a deliberate sabotage in the International Space Station (ISS), Russia and the United States have now issued a joint statement stating that the space agencies in both the countries have complete confidence in one another. The statement also made it clear that the ISS is now operating well, and an investigation is in progress.
In the recently issued statement, Russia and the United States did not address the sabotage rumors directly, instead, NASA and Roscosmos revealed that they will refrain from making any remarks about the cause of the hole until the investigation commission files the report.
The probable sabotage was initially noticed on August 30, 2018, when astronauts discovered a drilled hole in the Orbital Module of the Soyuz TMA capsule (MS-09/55S) berthed with the station. The leak was responsible for causing the International Space Station to lose oxygen, and to avoid further mishaps, astronauts rushed and sealed the hole.
Initially, it was speculated that the hole might have been caused by a tiny meteor hitting the ISS. However, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russia's Roscosmos space agency alleged that the air leak in ISS might be a sabotage. The space agency chief also suggested that the drilling on the Soyuz module might have done either back on earth or by the astronauts on board the ISS.
"There were several attempts at drilling. What is this: a production defect or some premeditated actions? We are checking the Earth version. But there is another version that we do not rule out: deliberate interference in space," said Dmitry.
As the Roscosmos chief made these comments, several Russians took their social media handles and alleged that two American astronauts who make up part of the six-person crew in the ISS might have done this act.
In the statement, NASA and Roscosmos assured the cooperation between the NASA and Roscosmos technical teams in dealing with the unexpected leaks, and also expressed full confidence in the integrity and dedication of the astronauts on board ISS.