A tweet by @NASASpaceflight (Chris B - NSF, "Managing Editor of NASASpaceFlight.com" says:

ISS Leak summary:

First thought was MMOD strike.

Then NASA released pics. Lots of people: "Hmmm, doesn't look like MMOD". NASA deleted the photos. (emphasis added)

Top Russian news site RIA NOVOSTI reported - via sources but apparently confirmed by Mr. Rogozin - it was a drill hole.

and shows this photo (cropped, original available at https://i.sstatic.net/rhZn8.jpg as well as in the linked tweet).

Question: Did NASA "publish", then "delete" this and other photos of the ISS leak? If so, where did these actions occur? (note: I'm only asking this.)

The appearance certainly contrasts with the file photo shown in the earlier tweet by Chris Hadfield (discussed in Is there, or has there ever been anything remotely like an electron microscope in space?), which says "When your spaceship suddenly starts leaking air..." (emphasis added)

A question about how "sudden" the leak was would be an excellent follow-up.

enter image description here

I first read about the @NASASpaceflight tweet in The Guardian's Station Space station air leak: someone drilled the hole, say Russians:

The article is worth reading in its entirety. This is a snippet:

Dmitry Rogozin said the hole detected last Thursday in a Russian Soyuz module docked at the ISS was caused by a drill and could have been done deliberately, either back on Earth or by someone in orbit.

“There were several attempts at drilling,” Rogozin said late on Monday in televised comments, adding that the drill appeared to have been held by a “wavering hand”.

“What is this: a production defect or some premeditated actions?” he asked. “We are checking the Earth version. But there is another version that we do not rule out: deliberate interference in space.”

See also Phys.org's Russia says space station leak may be sabotage, which includes the following snippet:

A space industry source told TASS that the spacecraft could have been damaged during testing at Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan after passing initial checks and the mistake was then hastily covered up.

"Someone messed up and then got scared and sealed up the hole," the source speculated, but then the sealant "dried up and fell off" when the Soyuz reached the ISS.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I suppose NASA and Roscosmos have mutual agreement to not address negative issues of the partner in public media. I don't know if the agreement itself is public or not.. $\endgroup$
    – Heopps
    Sep 5, 2018 at 11:20
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon this is why I have referred to that image both there, and here, as a "file photo". It was never represented as an image of the current hole, because of course it is an image from an electron microscope, and as far as I know, there are no electron microscopes on the ISS, much less one that can operate in the atmosphere. If you look at the first sentence I wrote in your linked question, I've called it an "an old file photo". $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Sep 5, 2018 at 12:46
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @DrSheldon that's actually a 2006 picture of an SMM hole-- as sourced by wikipedia archives. Funny... a band used it as their cover album in 2014, and people are yelling all over twitter about how NASA is faking the picture of the hole with an album cover... If you scroll down in the twitter comments (before they get too inane) Hadfield mentions it's a file photo and gives the timestamp/source. (Sorry to reiterate, but I've added a timestamp and source). $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2018 at 18:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MagicOctopusUrn: Thank you for the clarification! $\endgroup$
    – DrSheldon
    Sep 5, 2018 at 18:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @MagicOctopusUrn I really wish I hadn't read the tweet replies... Some peoples logical inability astounds me $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2018 at 13:55


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.