back to article Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

The whodunnit over the hole in one of the International Space Station's Soyuz lifeboats took a lurch for the surreal this week as reports in Russian media suggested a US astronaut may have deliberately drilled it so the crew could return home. We'll just let that sink in for a moment. The report said that an American …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's easy to prove it wasn't an astronaut (or cosmonaut). They're all careful types who follow instruction manuals and would have used a rawlplug when doing DIY.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      It's probably even easier than that. What's the chance that there is actually a powerdrill on the ISS?

      One suspects that it's one of those items that they might not take with them given the size & weight can be better used for other things that they might be able to use.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        I'd imagine they'd have some sort of drill-driver, considering they may have to tighten bolts etc.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          They do and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think they also have a drill bit adapter to go on their PGT.

        2. Peter2 Silver badge

          On earth, you can use a power drill because your mass is pushed down by a large gravitational field which allows one to maintain their position with minimal effort.

          In orbit in microgravity, were you to try and tighten or loosen a bolt with a power drill then the effective mass of the person holding the drill is near zero. What's more likely to rotate when you apply the drill, the bolt or the astronaut?

          Some imagination suggests some interesting possibilities. If they do have a tool designed for that sort of purpose then i'd expect that it's going to be designed to be suction clamped to the surface to preclude it rotating the astronaut, but that itself would preclude the damage shown in the previous picture...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "the effective mass of the person holding the drill is near zero"

            You mean the weight. Your mass doesn't change as long as your speed isn't relativistic. And the inertia that comes with it stays, too. Also, I'm sure handles on the walls help get a grip on things.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Your mass doesn't change as long as your speed isn't relativistic.

              I dunno. If watching Apollo 13 taught me anything, it is that in zero g one's mass can change, though you don't want to be floating next to one when it does.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            I still think it was done by a Russian technician

            who was trying to plug a leak by drilling down to where the leak was so he could put some kind of leak-stopping material in there. the hole would've been considered 'benign' and apparently it was covered up so it couldn't easily be seen.

            Then, the patch that was made on Earth failed, causing the recent leakage. Their fix was kinda like what I propose the original fix was - inject something into the hole to stop the leak, and cover it up.

            Occam's razor in this case.

            (not nearly as interesting as snarking all over it and pointing fingers and conspiracy theories)

            1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

              @bombastic bob Re: I still think it was done by a Russian technician

              Agreed. After all, who among us hasn't looked at a recently-completed DIY project, shrugged and uttered the words "nothing a little caulk won't fix"?

              1. JohnFen Silver badge

                Re: @bombastic bob I still think it was done by a Russian technician

                Caulk is so 20th century. The cool kids do their dodgy patching with hot glue these days.

            2. J. Cook Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: I still think it was done by a Russian technician

              @bombastic bob: I am in (rare) agreement with you. (On a side note, I think I saw a crate or two of wolly underthings addressed to hell over in the shipping department. :) )

          3. hplasm Silver badge
            Boffin

            ...suction clamped to the surface...

            Erm...space?

            1. Tony W

              Re: ...suction clamped to the surface...

              Erm ...there is still air, it hasn't all escaped yet.

            2. Spotswood

              Re: ...suction clamped to the surface...

              So, can you create a mini vacuum (suction) when already in a vacuum?

          4. Tomato Krill

            Well there's at least one tool for this problem, which is struck with a hammer face on to remove the need to turn it manually and this avoid this exact issue

          5. CommanderGalaxian
            Headmaster

            "effective mass of the person holding the drill"

            Not entirely sure that any large mechanical tools on board the space station requring quantum theory to be invoked.

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              not sure about you but if i needed to use a drill in space i would probably brace myself against something first. Sort of common sense and not really difficult regardless of your apparent weight.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        > What's the chance that there is actually a powerdrill on the ISS

        Here's a cosmonaut repairing stripped screw on a spacesuit with a drill. It's not even a special PGT, it's an Earth-style battery powered drill.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZtxph4Ntqs

        1. davenewman

          I see they have magnetised walls, so they can just stick tools there to stop them floating about.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            They used to use velcro ... until Apollo 1

            1. cray74 Silver badge

              They used to use velcro ... until Apollo 1

              They still use Velcro in space. The role of Velcro in ISS sandwich making

  2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

    Just where do you get these stock photos from? Are some of these Reg hacks?

    1. Craig 2

      RE: Just where do you get these stock photos from?

      Never mind where they come from, what the hell do you type as search keywords to get that headline image!

    2. Steve Button

      Shutterstock!

      It's like The Reg are paying a small fortune for a shutterstock account so they have to make the best use of it, and always come up with these shitty fucking condescending images.

      Not that it bothers me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shutterstock!

        and always come up with these shitty fucking condescending images....Not that it bothers me.

        Your choice of language suggests that it does.

        1. Steve Button

          Re: Shutterstock!

          yeah, that was sarcasm. It bothers me.

          But I guess it's just me. I'm sure going back 3 or 4 years the images were much more appropriate to the story, and not stretching some metaphor to death from the title. But perhaps I've just got more grumpy. :-)

          1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

            Re: Shutterstock!

            Yeah! Bring back the EEEPC girl!

          2. DropBear Silver badge

            Re: Shutterstock!

            "But I guess it's just me."

            Nope. That's what the rule blocking all of regmedia.co.uk is for. Bliss.

      2. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Shutterstock!

        Us, condescending? Awww. We're so glad you were able to put your feelings into words like that. High five, champ!

        1. Steve Button

          Re: Shutterstock!

          Thumbs up from me too.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shutterstock!

        You will also notice that the pictured drills have fastener fittings rather then the traditional boring tool. Just saying is all

        As an asside if you looked up "boring" in the old yellow pages it said "see Civil Engineers", that is until they complained

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shutterstock!

        "It's like The Reg are paying a small fortune for a shutterstock account so they have to make the best use of it, and always come up with these shitty fucking condescending images."

        It sure beats images linked to/from Twitter.

        Some of us have Twitter and other social media blocked on our devices.

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Shutterstock!

        "It's like The Reg are paying a small fortune for a shutterstock account so they have to make the best use of it, and always come up with these shitty fucking condescending images."

        A while ago, a Reg job advert had selecting and sourcing these images as part of the job description. I'm not sure if that post as been filled yet or not.

        Personally I'm of the school of thought that if the picture is not directly related to the article, don't put one there at all.

    3. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      No, we're all much weaker than that bloke - though if you just take the mean amount of power tools each of us has, we probably have heaps more than him.

    4. Baz Baz

      It's worse than that, one is a jigsaw, and the other is a drill-driver. It's easy to get a photo of an actual cordless drill, for crying out loud.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Considering the stupidity of the Russian media allegation, I think an equally stupid stock pic is highly appropriate!

        Keep it up El Reg! Some of us love the pics!

  3. Korev Silver badge
    Joke

    IT Infrastructure

    Just wondering, did they use Apache Drill?

  4. Steve Button

    Interviewed on Russia Today...

    ... the so-called Astronaut said he was not really an Astronaut and was only there as a tourist, as was just trying to get a better view of the lovely cathedrals back down on Earth.

    1. deive
      Thumb Up

      Re: Interviewed on Russia Today...

      Wish I could give more than 1 upvote for this :-)

    2. Stevie Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Interviewed on Russia Today...

      You are a bad man and will never get to heaven.

      Please have an E-Beer, awarded for drollery.

    3. el_oscuro

      Re: Interviewed on Russia Today...

      That astronaut was actually trying to hot wire the ship so he could take it to Mars.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Give Russia's reputation for poor workmanship

    It's a certainty that the hole was made during the build and only once in orbit did the drunk workers blob of RTV come off.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Give Russia's reputation for poor workmanship

      What kind of manufacturing process for a spaceship requires holes to be drilled in it with hand tools? Surely everything's pre-drilled these days? I know they're basically hand-built, due to low volumes made. But as the design hasn't changed that much, you'd have thought there'd be tooling for banging out the individual parts.

      Or is it like flat-pack furniture from the 80s. Where you got badly drawn instructions tellling you what sizes of drill bits and screwdrivers you needed, and you had to bodge it yourself.

      At least Ikea put a stop to that - despite using the cheapest, greyest toilet-roll-iest paper and keeping the drawings impossible to read.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Give Russia's reputation for poor workmanship

        "Surely everything's pre-drilled these days?"

        Surely not. Pre-drilling is what you do when mass-producing things or if you need extreme accuracy in the hole placement. I'd be surprised if every hole that needs to be made is pre-drilled.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Give Russia's reputation for poor workmanship

          The linked Russian media article says the repair was done with medical gauze & sealant .....

          Then again, it also has a classic, paraphrasing : "we've asked the Americans for these records, but they're personal /private medical records, so we probably won't get them, but if we don't get them we'll know the Americans are hiding things from us and then there will be no need for us to ask any more questions (about whether the Americans did this)."

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Give Russia's reputation for poor workmanship

        "At least Ikea put a stop to that"

        I've had to re-drill Ikea components manufactured with half the holes out of place. But consistently manufactured that way - let it not be said that Ikea aren't consistent.

      3. lglethal Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Give Russia's reputation for poor workmanship

        Oh Spartacus... Dont let me tell you some of the stories i know from the aerospace world - you might never fly again! Lets put it this way, mistakes happen. When they happen, the technician writes up a concession, an engineer designs a fix, and the technician applies the fix and everyone moves forward.

        If there's an aircraft out there without at least a 1000 concessions on it (for all sorts of things, holes drilled in the wrong spot is just the easiest one), then I'll eat my hat... The Space biz, is no different...

        But dont worry, your still safe to fly... probably... ;)

  6. Come to the Dark Side

    Zero G

    Enquiring minds must know:

    If you hold a power drill against a surface, thereby creating friction, and/or resistance, in Zero G, will the drill penetrate the surface, or will the wielder spin around the drill?

  7. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    If it WAS an astro-/cosmonaut...

    ...I expect the story to show up in "Who, Me?" someday

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zero G

      Assuming you're not joking and assuming that the astronaut doesn't anchor him/her self then there will be some element of the latter scenario.

    2. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Zero G

      For a start there's no such thing as "zero G" (except perhaps at the centre of a star), the ISS is in free fall.

      Secondly mass in unchanged whether in 0.001G or 1G or 100G and it's the amount of mass which matters.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Zero G

        "it's the amount of mass which matters."

        Not the moment of intertia?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Zero G

          "Not the moment of intertia?"

          Inertia isn't just for moments. It goes on and on.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zero G

      Not to mention: how do you hold the drill against the surface in the first place? On earth we have our own weight combined with friction on the floor. In space, it must be much more complicated to anchor oneself properly.

      One other consideration: the tiny hole in the craft would need to be dealt with eventually. If someone really drilled the hole while in space, the tiny flakes of metal floating around would be my bigger concern. Inhaling those would not be fun.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Zero G

        Having the ISS control electronics inhale metal chips would be even less fun.

        And, you're pointed out a way to look for where this happened - no loose chips would indicate the ground as a location for the drilling.

        1. DropBear Silver badge

          Re: Zero G

          "it's the amount of mass which matters"

          Not when the drill breaks through and catches.

        2. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: Zero G

          > no loose chips would indicate the ground as a location for the drilling.

          Actually, if you watch the vid I linked above, you'll see the standard procedure is to set up a vacuum hose first, to collect the removed debris.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Zero G

        Ground Control to Major Tom

        Get your toolkit out and put your face mask on.

      3. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Zero G

        "the tiny flakes of metal floating around would be my bigger concern. Inhaling those would not be fun."

        Mine to, but not because of inhalation. I'd be MUCH more concerned about those tiny flakes of metal finding their way into electronics and shorting stuff out.

      4. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Zero G

        "In space, it must be much more complicated to anchor oneself properly."

        I don't know. It seems to me that for ordinary hole-drilling, the procedure to properly anchor yourself would consist of "hold on to one of the many bracing handles attached to the station interior".

      5. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Zero G

        Okay people, ask yourself the question: when I'm using a drill, does it rip my wrist off? Because that's where the force is going to be greatest (see Archimedes). If you don't feel it's actually in danger of spinning you round if you don't brace your stance for it then it's not going to be that much more difficult in space. You have a pretty big moment of inertia about point about shoulder level compared to a drill bit (spinning up freely) and the torque from friction is proportional to its (small) diameter.

        If you're dealing with some monster two-handed masonry thing then yes, you have to make more effort, but again, if your arms can provide the counter-force where the leverage is shortest, your legs and the rest of your body can certainly provide it at a longer distance.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Zero G

      this problem was solved in the 1960's during the Gemini program. They also had a drill-operated wrench, if I remember correctly. the back story, as I recall, was that they put a test rig filled with typical operations like turning wrenches and screwdrivers and using a drill into the back end of a gemini capsule where it had an equipment space set up for this kind of thing. An astronaut went outside in a suit and tried to do all that, but failed miserably. Then NASA came up with a brilliant plan of using a swimming pool to simulate zero gravity [which they've been doing ever since]. They rehearsed the mission, and tried it again, this time successful.

      Anyway, a bit of NASA history from the dark spider-webbed recesses of my mind.

      also mentioned (sort of) here

      The swimming pool helped them 'get it right' with Gemini XII

    5. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Zero G

      In space, no one can hear you ream

      1. Stevie Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: In space, no one can hear

        You won't get many upvotes on this Hans. Everyone is an "engineer" and so has by definition, never actually bent metal for real.

        But have an E-Beer.

    6. Come to the Dark Side

      Re: Zero G

      So, according to Popular Mechanics, April edition 1964, they overcame the problem of reactive torque by designing a tool for the Gemini missions where the motor and motor casing rotated freely and were not locked to the tools framework it seems.

      On the debris question, the answer is surprisingly low-tech and is basically "shaving foam around the area".

    7. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Zero G

      I don't think that's an either-or question.

      The torque force generated by the drilling will be equal in both the driller and drillee. If the resistance to that torque is equal on both sides, then both sides will spin. One would assume, though, that someone drilling a hole in the hull of the station would brace themselves against the station -- so the torque would have no net effect on the spin of the driller (or the station) at all.

    8. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: If it WAS an astro-/cosmonaut...

      ...I expect the story to show up in "Who, Me?" someday

      Episode 1 of Space Crash Investigation (see icon)

    9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Zero G

      "or will the wielder spin around the drill?"

      The one benefit of this entire thread is imagining just that.

  8. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
    Joke

    Air is leaking out of the Soyuz capsule

    This is not a drill.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Air is leaking out of the Soyuz capsule

      That joke was a bit obvious

      1. Jonathan Richards 1
        Go

        Re: Air is leaking out of the Soyuz capsule

        ITYM "That joke were a bit obvious, chuck."

        Only works with a North of England accent, possibly.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Air is leaking out of the Soyuz capsule

          "Only works with a North of England accent"

          There's no such thing. It's all the rest of you who have accents.

    2. GeekyDee

      Re: Air is leaking out of the Soyuz capsule

      While the puns may be spiraling out of control, I raise a flute to you who would stick your neck out to land the puns, and do not fear a shank...

  9. EricM

    Astronauts did it? Bullshit

    Not sure how noisy the ISS interior is, but no one noticing someone drilling through the aluminium/steel hull of a docked and therefore acusically coupled capsule?

    Given the visible scratches this would probably have been rather loud all over the ISS ...

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: Astronauts did it? Bullshit

      It was noted that astronaut Idiot Plebstone asked for help whilst hanging an oil painting up just before the emergency ... or was it Igor Plebski? I always get those mixed up.

    2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Astronauts did it? Bullshit

      The interior has all manner of equipment running with fans for cooling. It also has constant air circulation systems. In short, there's plenty of background noise.

      Remember that with no (or negligible) gravity, heat doesn't rise (which way is up, anyway) so everything needs forced cooling. Similarly, there are fans in the sleeping quarters so that the astro/cosmonauts don't die of oxygen deficiency through inhaling the same air over and over again.

      There's also plenty of padding on the walls (so people don't hurt themselves too much as well as for thermal insulation), so the sound will be deadened that way.

    3. hplasm Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Astronauts did it? Bullshit

      Aha! an outside job, then!

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Astronauts did it? Bullshit

      The ISS interior is quite noisy. Here's a discussion (and link to a recording of the noise): https://www.geek.com/geek-cetera/on-the-iss-no-one-can-hear-you-scream-because-of-the-noise-1533866/

      However, things that bump/scrape against the hull of the station are readily detectable by everybody on board, as the structure transmits noise quite well. Astronauts say that they can easily hear/feel the motions of their colleagues engaging in spacewalks on the outside of the station.

      I'm guessing that nobody can drill anything attached to the hull without everyone else knowing about it.

  10. Joeman

    Maybe it was a spy hole so they Russians could see Salisbury Cathedral better....

    1. Pedigree-Pete
      FAIL

      Stonehenge...

      TBH the Russian tourist statement might have held a little more water if they'd said they were visiting Stonehenge, World Heritage site. Nothing against the Cathedral tho'. PP

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Stonehenge...

        Well it would have held a tad more weight if people who live in Russia hadn't claimed to be deterred from a ten minute walk by half an inch of snow and some slush!

        I'm prepared to believe that foreigners might be terrified by trying to organise a barbeque in some of the weather we get in August, or by Scottish midges. Maybe even the appalling horror of leaves on the line. But not our arctic blasts of snow...

      2. JADs
        Trollface

        Re: Stonehenge...

        It might have held more water if they hadn't drilled a hole in it !

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And they could squirt more "perfume" through the same whole as well.

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    We were not the audience

    This nonsense is aimed at the people in Russia. Irritating everyone else is just an extra benefit.

  12. mildy bemused

    Was it a black hole?

    (Yeah, yeah, I know, but someone had to ask and I didn't see that anyone had.)

  13. steelpillow Silver badge
    Devil

    Conspiracy theory

    Russia has made pretty bullish noises about dumping the ISS supply contract next year.

    Meanwhile the quality of the more recent Soyuz craft has been coming under criticism.

    If you wanted to dump an undesirable contract, what better way to erode confidence than to encourage bad quality and follow that up by sticking a spanner drill in the works?

  14. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Russian tech workers are NOT paid very much

    This sort of thing is par for the course.

    There was a Proton that crashed because an accelerometer was installed upside down. You say "why don't they make the bracket so you can't install it upside down?"

    Well, they did, and the worker just used a bigger hammer. Literally.

    Also, there was a recent grounding of Russian rockets because the engine supplier had used a cheaper metal that wouldn't withstand launch, so they had to go through and inspect and replace all the engines.

    I could post 10 or 15 more, and those are the ones I know of, way over here in America, so I'm sure there's dozens more I don't know about.

    I'm 100% certain some tech did an oops and said "just JB weld that fucker" because actually admitting the error and getting it done proper would probably mean he'd lose his job.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Russian tech workers are NOT paid very much

      "actually admitting the error and getting it done proper would probably mean he'd lose his job."

      If that's true, that's a very, very serious failure of management. Literally everyone ever born makes mistakes. You want to encourage people to admit and correct them rather than hide them, especially in mission-critical situations.

      Proper management would not be encouraging the fear of job loss for admitting mistakes. They would be encouraging the fear of job loss for covering up mistakes.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: Russian tech workers are NOT paid very much

        If that's true, that's a very, very serious failure of management. Literally everyone ever born makes mistakes. You want to encourage people to admit and correct them rather than hide them, especially in mission-critical situations.

        However, it would be a relatively accurate description of, say, the USSR under Stalin. (Or, for balance, plenty of other times and places, see Challenger for example, not exactly a blatant denial of mistakes---Feynman eventually got it---so much as an institutional unwillingness to admit that anything could be wrong, but somewhere on the same scale.)

  15. EveryTime Silver badge

    People in gas houses don't drill...

    Nevermind

  16. Christoph Silver badge
    Joke

    I wanted to get back to Earth

    For I really was feeling quite rotten

    So I took my power-drill to make

    A hole in the Soyuz's bottom

  17. cdrcat

    Hopefully the hole was drilled from the outside

    That way the Russians will have to blame aliens instead.

    It is normally clear whether a hole was made from one side or t'other.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Hopefully the hole was drilled from the outside

      The hole was drilled from the inside, the bit skipped 15-20mm along the surface before biting, and the leak started while all the astronauts were asleep.

      So either a crew member managed to get up and drill the hole during a sleep cycle without Mission Control or any other crew member noticing, or it happened during manufacture and somebody slapped a patch on it that started leaking a few months later.

      The visible hole wasn't in the pressure hull either.

      All the sane money is on a manufacturing defect in the pressure hull, and they drilled the hole to access the defect and squirt gunk over it.

      Which eventually failed.

      If roscosmos didn't have a totally disastrous management style, this would have been documented and known to NASA, they probably would have used the right kind of gunk so it wouldn't have leaked in the first place, and even if it had, the ISS crew would have been able to go straight to the leak and fix it immediately instead of searching for a few hours.

      So yes, drilled on the ground.

    2. I&I

      Re: Hopefully the hole was drilled from the outside

      A suitably advanced alien hole could appear anywhere (e.g. floating inside the ISS) - not just as a hull-hole. No offence to Kingston upon...

  18. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Drilled by an astronaut?

    While in space? I sort of doubt it. I'll bet sound carries pretty well throughout the ISS. And given the mission planning involved with practically everything, "Who's running a power drill now?" would warrant some investigation.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thats not a drill..

    THIS is a drill.

    https://tucson.com/business/local/ua-mining-lab-gets-a-giant-drill/article_ea2f4552-7061-56a0-88e0-1ba20bb6f201.html

  20. Ken Shabby
    Coat

    Nut Screws Washer and Bolts

    Astronaut in space station shame.

  21. I&I

    Memories of Soyuz 11’s depressurisation on return (though that was the capsule)

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_11

    Just idly wondering, nothing more.

  22. Elves are not people too

    Jon Oliver already figured it out

    As seen on Last Week Tonight - it was the mice, but which one?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CitDs__alS0

  23. Pat Harkin

    There was a statement on Russian TV

    "We visited only ISS because have read of magnificent 408km altitude. We may have passed near Soyus we do not know where that is. We did not need to drill hole to evacuate novichok as we did not have any."

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