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رواد الفضاء يستخدمون السكاكين لصيانة فتحة-لغز بالمركبة

رئيس التحرير
2019.01.15 06:49

 في اول سير بالفضاء الخارجي خارج الصاروخ استخدم رائد الفضاء الروسي سكاكين وشفرات  وقطاعات يدويه  لازالة  وتقطيع بعض القطع لسد فجوة انكشفت لاسباب مجهولة بطريقة تفخيخيه مقصودة في محاولة استمرت 45 دقيقه خارج قمرتهم بالفضاء الخارجي 

 

 

 

Footage of a gruelling seven hour, 45 minute spacewalk, two Russian cosmonauts - Sergei Prokopyev and Oleg Kononenko - were forced to use knives to uncover the source of the leak. A Moscow official suggested the hole, which was located by the mission, could have been caused by deliberate sabotage and drilled from the inside. It was initially believed to have been caused by a small meteorite but this theory has now been dispelled. What made it especially hard is that the Soyuz spacecraft, unlike the ISS, was not designed to be repaired in spacewalks and has no outside railings for astronauts to hold onto.

Astronauts were forced to use knives and shears to carve a gaping hole into the side of the International Space Station to find clues to a mysterious drilled hole that leaked valuable cabin pressure four months ago. 

Two Russian cosmonauts - Sergei Prokopyev and Oleg Kononenko - were forced to use an armoury of tools to uncover the source of the leak in a gruelling seven hour, 45 minute spacewalk.

Dramatic images and footage show insulation and debris from the spacecrafts hull floating into space as they hacked into the side of the Soyuz capsule with daggers and garden shear-like devices.

Roscosmos, Russias space agency, said the aim was to discover whether the small but dangerous hole was deliberately caused in an act of sabotage or if it had been made in space.

The two-millimetre cavity on the Soyuz spaceship docked at the ISS caused an air leak detected in August, two months after the crafts last voyage.

Until Tuesday, astronauts had only been able to examine the hole from inside the spacecraft.   

The micro fracture is believed to be around 2mm wide in the $150 billion (£115 billion) space station was discovered after astronauts noticed a drop in pressure causing air to slowly rush out of the space station. A seven hour, 45 minute spacewalk located the source of the suspicious hole 

The micro fracture is believed to be around 2mm wide in the $150 billion (£115 billion) space station was discovered after astronauts noticed a drop in pressure causing air to slowly rush out of the space station. A seven hour, 45 minute spacewalk located the source of the suspicious hole 

Cosmonauts cut into the insulation on the Soyuz orbital module
 
 
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Astronauts were forced to carve a gaping hole into the side of the Soyuz capsule attached to the ISS in order to find a mystery leak. Dramatic images and footage show insulation and debris from the spacecrafts hull floating into space as they hacked into the Soyuz capsule with daggers and garden shear-like devices

Astronauts were forced to carve a gaping hole into the side of the Soyuz capsule attached to the ISS in order to find a mystery leak. Dramatic images and footage show insulation and debris from the spacecrafts hull floating into space as they hacked into the Soyuz capsule with daggers and garden shear-like devices

A tiny hole, only 2mm wide (pictured), was found to be responsible for the loss of valuable cabin pressure which was first detected on 30th August

A tiny hole, only 2mm wide (pictured), was found to be responsible for the loss of valuable cabin pressure which was first detected on 30th August

The crew quickly located and sealed the tiny hole that created a slight loss of pressure. Space officials said the station has remained safe to operate. There appear to be drill marks around the hole on the inside (pictured)

The crew quickly located and sealed the tiny hole that created a slight loss of pressure. Space officials said the station has remained safe to operate. There appear to be drill marks around the hole on the inside (pictured)

Russians Sergei Prokopyev and Oleg Kononenko spotted the tiny hole in the external hull of the Soyuz capsule, more than five hours into their gruelling spacewalk.

What made it especially hard is that the Soyuz spacecraft, unlike the ISS, was not designed to be repaired in spacewalks and has no outside railings for astronauts to hold onto.

Theres nothing, thats the problem, Mr Kononenko said ahead of the outing Rogozin called the spacewalk unprecedented in its complexity on Twitter and Roscosmos said it would enter the history of space exploration.   

Roscosmos space agency said the aim was to discover whether the small but dangerous hole had been made on Earth or in space and the spacewalkers reported seeing no drill marks around the black dot, like on the inside.

Back in August, the station crew patched the hole in the Soyuz capsule, plugging it with epoxy and gauze.

Russian space officials wanted the site surveyed from the outside, before the capsules return to Earth next week with Mr Prokopyev and two others.

Fascinating footage shows Oleg Kononenko floating outside the Soyuz
 
 
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Rscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said that the hole could have been drilled during manufacture or while in orbit. A range of tools were needed to get through the thick shell and insulation on the Soyuz capsule (pictured)

Rscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said that the hole could have been drilled during manufacture or while in orbit. A range of tools were needed to get through the thick shell and insulation on the Soyuz capsule (pictured)

Dramatic images show insulation and debris from the spacecrafts hull floating into space when the astronauts use knives (pictured), daggers and garden shear-like devices to gouge open the MS-09 capsule which is attached to the orbiting spacecraft

Dramatic images show insulation and debris from the spacecrafts hull floating into space when the astronauts use knives (pictured), daggers and garden shear-like devices to gouge open the MS-09 capsule which is attached to the orbiting spacecraft

This part of the capsule will be jettisoned as usual before atmospheric re-entry, and so poses no risk for descent on the December 20 return. 

Mr Prokopyev and Mr Kononenko had to use a pair of telescoping booms to reach the Soyuz and said it took nearly four hours for them to cross the approximately 100 feet to get to the capsule.

Another one to two hours was required to remove the external and internal insulation as Mr Kononenko needed to cut away a 10-inch swatch of thermal insulation and debris shield to get to. 

Cutters and a long knife were used to access the hull and bits of shredded silver insulation can be seen floating away like confetti into the abyss of space. 

Mission Control repeatedly urged the spacewalkers to take a few minutes rest, in their bid to collect samples of the black epoxy sealant protruding from the hole, just one-tenth of an inch across.

Unlike the ISS, the Soyuz capsule was not designed to be repaired in spacewalks and has no outside railings for astronauts to hold onto (pictured)

Unlike the ISS, the Soyuz capsule was not designed to be repaired in spacewalks and has no outside railings for astronauts to hold onto (pictured)

Mr Prokopyev and Mr Kononenko had to use a pair of telescoping booms to reach the Soyuz and said it took nearly four hours for them to cross the approximately 100 feet to get to the capsule (pictured) 

Mr Prokopyev and Mr Kononenko had to use a pair of telescoping booms to reach the Soyuz and said it took nearly four hours for them to cross the approximately 100 feet to get to the capsule (pictured) 

The capsule leak caused a flap between the US and Russian space agencies, following its discovery at the end of August.

Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin observed in October that an investigation had ruled out a manufacturing error and was not created in space. He had said earlier that Russia did not exclude deliberate interference in space. 

The space stations commander at the time flatly denied any wrongdoing by himself or his crew.

Mr Rogozin has since backpedalled his statement, blaming the news media for twisting his words.

A Russian investigation is ongoing, according to Mr Rogozin, and samples collected during the spacewalk will be returned to Earth on the Soyuz.

Mission Control repeatedly urged the spacewalkers to take a few minutes rest, in their bid to collect samples of the black epoxy sealant protruding from the hole, just one-tenth of an inch across as they floated 200 miles above Earth 

Mission Control repeatedly urged the spacewalkers to take a few minutes rest, in their bid to collect samples of the black epoxy sealant protruding from the hole, just one-tenth of an inch across as they floated 200 miles above Earth 

 Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin observed in October that an investigation had ruled out a manufacturing error and was not created in space. He had said earlier that Russia did not exclude deliberate interference in space. Evidence from the spacewalk (pictured) will help solve the mystery

 Russian space chief Dmitry Rogozin observed in October that an investigation had ruled out a manufacturing error and was not created in space. He had said earlier that Russia did not exclude deliberate interference in space. Evidence from the spacewalk (pictured) will help solve the mystery

WHAT COULD HAVE CAUSED A HOLE IN THE ISS?

Theory one - it was caused by a small meteorite

A tiny hole appeared in a Russian space capsule locked to the ISS on 30th August.

The micro fracture believed to be around 2mm wide in the $150 billion (£115 billion) space station was discovered after astronauts noticed a drop in pressure.

European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst reportedly put his finger over the hole before crew patched it with tape.

The hole was confirmed repaired by Friday (31 August) after cabin pressure returned to normal.

It was initially believed to have been caused by a small meteorite and astronauts used tape to seal the leak after it caused a minor loss of pressure. 

Theory two - it was made deliberately while in orbit

However, as the investigation went on it began to look like the hole was made from someone inside as opposed to outside, either back on Earth or in space, the Russian space agency claimed. 

Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said in September that the hole could have been drilled during manufacturing or while in orbit with a wavering hand.

He didnt say if he suspected any of the US crew, but the statement has caused some bewilderment.

Sources suggest the question of how to fix the hole may have strained relations between Moscow and Houston.

Rogozin has since reneged on his statement blaming the media for twisting his words and said that he never pointed the finger at U.S. astronauts.

Theory three - it was caused by a worker at Energia

A leading theory from an unnamed source at Energia said the hole was made on the ground – potentially caused by deliberate interference – with suggestions the person responsible may have already been identified.

Another anonymous source said the hole was drilled by a worker who hid their mistake with a seal instead of reporting it.

An unnamed source at Energia told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that [t]he hole was made on the ground.

According to the source, [t]he person responsible for the act of negligence has been identified.

Another anonymous source said the hole was not made intentionally but by a worker who hid their mistake with a seal instead of reporting it.

The patchwork repair lasted the trip up to the ISS but after three weeks in orbit gradually peeled away. 

The spacewalk findings could lead to better repair techniques in the future, officials said.

The Soyuz is scheduled to depart the orbiting lab on December 19, US time, with Mr Prokopyev, American Serena Aunon-Chancellor and German Alexander Gerst, the stations current skipper.

It ferried them up in June and will remain aboard the 250-mile-high outpost for the next six months will be crew comprised of an American, Russian and a Canadian who arrived last week. 

The samples will be sent to Earth to get at the truth of the cavitys origins, the space agency said.

The cosmonauts also took photographs and filmed video before putting new insulation over the area. 

It is believed the ISS was one of the few areas of Russia-US cooperation that remained unaffected by the slump in relations between the countries and Washingtons sanctions.

The Russian probe is ongoing and three of the stations crew will take the samples back to Earth on December 20th.

Mr Rogozin added that Roscosmos will discuss the probe findings with NASA and other space station partners. 

Russian cosmonaut Mr Kononenko, who arrived at the station earlier this month with NASA astronaut Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, said in a pre-flight interview that the spacewalk would be a strenuous effort.

Its going to be challenging both physically and technically, he said.   

 

RUSSIAS SOYUZ: DECADES OF BLASTING INTO SPACE

The Soyuz programme is an ongoing human spaceflight programme which was initiated by the Soviet Union in the early 1960s, originally part of a Moon landing project.

There have been 138 manned missions, of which 11 have failed and one astronaut has died.

Here are some of the notable failures, including one in 1967 when an astronaut was killed, one in 1975 when two astronauts hurtle to Earth.

1967: Soviet astronaut Vladimir Komarov was killed during landing due to a parachute failure

 

1975: Two Russian astronauts had to abort a mission to a Russian space station at an altitude of 90miles due to a rocket failure.

They hurtled towards Earth and safely landed in the Altai Mountains on the Russia-China border. 

One of the astronauts never flew to space again, never fully recovered from the accident and died aged 62 in 1990. The other made two more flights. 

1983: A rocket malfunctioned during the countdown to take off in southern Kazakhstan.

Automatic systems ejected the two Russian crew-members just seconds before the rocket exploded. The fire burned on the launch pad for 20 hours. 

2002: A Soyuz ship carrying a satellite crashed during launch in Russia when a booster suffered an engine malfunction. The ship landed near the launch pad, killing one engineer on the ground.

2011: A Soyuz-U mission carrying cargo failed to launch to the International Space Station when the upper stage experienced a problem and broke up over Siberia.

2016: Another cargo ship was lost shortly after launch, likely due to a problem with the third stage of the Soyuz-U. 

August 2018: A hole in a Soyuz capsule docked to the International Space Station caused a brief loss of air pressure and had to be patched. 

The Russians claimed the hole was drilled deliberately in an act of sabotage either on Earth or in orbit. Another theory is that the hole was a production defect.

 
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