Space station crew members work to patch up a small hole in the inner hull of a Soyuz spacecraft on Aug. 30. (NASA / Roscosmos via @NASASpaceflight / Twitter)
NASA and Russia’s space agency issued a joint statement today aimed at quashing viral claims that someone on the International Space Station’s crew sabotaged a Soyuz capsule by drilling a hole in orbit and creating an air leak.
The statement came two weeks after the crew discovered and patched the hole — and 10 days after Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of in-space sabotage.
Rogozin’s mention of sabotage, supplemented by comments from unnamed Russian sources, boosted a conspiracy theory claiming that NASA spacefliers may have intentionally drilled the hole. Those rumblings drew a sharp rebuke this week from NASA astronaut Drew Feustel, who’s currently serving as the station’s commander.
“I can unequivocally say that the crew had nothing to do with this on orbit, without a doubt,” Feustel told ABC News in a space-to-ground interview. “And I think it’s actually a shame and somewhat embarrassing that anybody is wasting any time talking about something that the crew was involved in.”
Today’s statement from the space ...