back to article Hole-y ship: ISS 'nauts take a wander to crack Soyuz driller whodunnit

Spacewalking cosmonauts clambered outside the ISS yesterday to get an external view of the mystery hole drilled into the Soyuz, which is due to return three crew members to Earth next week. Roscosmos flight engineers Oleg Kononenko (fresh from his launch aboard Soyuz MS-11 earlier this month) and Sergey Prokopyev popped open …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Presumably this whole charade was cooked up to hide the fact that the hole was drilled from the outside and so couldn't have been made by an astronaut.

    By the time the photos are published, any fool could have photoshopped them.

    Sorry Putin, nobody believes you or your lackeys any more.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
      Alien

      I'm not saying the hole was drilled by alien saboteurs....

      But we all know that it done by alien saboteurs!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I'm not saying the hole was drilled by alien saboteurs....

        Space worms!

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      By the time the photos are published,

      They were live streamed to both Houston and Star city. Very cute set-up using a McGuivered GoPro. The guys from GoPro should pay some sponsorship money to the Russians. In addition to that the area was under at least two of the external cameras. That was mostly live streamed too.

      Sorry Putin, nobody believes you or your lackeys any more.

      Daily mail overdose? There is one thing you need to remember every time dealing with him is that it is the minimisation of lies by him personally is what makes him exceptionally dangerous. You can count on the fingers of one hand times he himself has been caught red-handed in the last two decades. In fact, we lie more.

      Example from last two weeks: His statement: "Kerch straights are closed due to inclement weather". Our statement: "Russia is blockading the Kerch straights". Let's check who is lying and who is telling the truth, shall we?

      Step 1: Historical record of wind on accuweather for the duration of the blockade. Wind at 50knots, gust at 80knots.

      Step 2: Check the wind at which the straights are closed. Choice of sailing almanac, Google or just ask someone who has worked in the area (I have done all 3): 15 m/s, namely 29 knots.

      Step 3: Check the ship movement with a wind overlay on top on www.marinetraffic.com. Realtime is free, for historic unfortunately you will need to part with a couple of pounds. Wind goes up, traffic stops. Wind goes down traffic starts.You can also see the size of the queue, width of the channel and the fact that it is run to schedule strictly one direction at any time too. That is why everyone complies with what the dispatcher says - from a queue of 100+ ships on average on either side.

      I am leaving you to make the calculation of how much money was spent and from what budget to promote the "blockade news". Suffice that AP, Reuters, Guardian and all major newspapers carried stories without doing as much as minimal verification versus current weather observations and forecast.

      I have said it again and again and again. The reason why everyone who could get their mitts on a good MW or shortwave in USSR listened to the Beeb Russian service in those days and NOT TO RADIO FREE EUROPE was that the Beeb did not lie and did not need to lie - it was true news. While Free Europe did and got caught plenty of times. In the propaganda war, lies will win you the occasional battle. Only THE TRUTHwill win you the long term war and that is something we are failing to realise. Instead of that we are having our BIG GUNs lie like 10p per post Internet troll from Prigozhin's mob. That is bad for us in the long term. And good for him (it takes a big overdose of Daily Mail not to see that).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Is it all just a simple misunderstanding?

        I mean Putin said the two officers who tried to murder the people in Salisbury were just innocent travellers.

        Also that no Russian soldiers were part of the takeover of Crimea, that the Liteveneko poisioning was nothing to do with Russia, That there was no government conspiracy over the murder the murder of Boris Nemtsov, that Russia was not involved in the downing of MH17, that there were no chemical attacks in Syria by Assad's regime, that there was no plan for doping athletes at a state level etc

        At least the press in the UK is free and able to question the government narrative, even if it means the falls of a politician, a minister or a prime minister. Sure there may be some deliberate misinformation but don't expect all the media to fall in line - however sometimes the media don't have the resources to fully check individual narratives and stories. There are columns in Private Eye that regularly call out the media for printing Wikipedia articles as truth.

        Many people understand the agendas of certain news sources in the UK and can see around them, but none of the media are scared to holding the Government to account and regularly do just that.

        1. Stevie Silver badge

          Bah!

          <mode = Jacques Clouseau>

          Are you saying ... that this modular space module was piercéd by Russian travellers who mistook it for Ely Cathedral?

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          At least the press in the UK is free and able to question the government narrative, even if it means the falls of a politician, a minister or a prime minister.

          Who told you they are not over there. You are thinking about RT English edition as representative +/- whatever the Daily Mail feeds us about the life over there.

          I suggest learning Russian and reading their press. They rip their government a new a***hole on a daily basis. Novaya, The Bell, Dozhd, etc regularly publish stuff which would be suppressed in the UK as D-Notice material. For example the fact that Russia government lost control of its Novichok stock as far back as 1996 and it was sold to the mob was dug up by RUSSIAN investigative journalists and published there. It was suppressed here for 2 weeks before it was republished. Because it did not match the narrative.

          Half of the material on the two tourists (*) was first published there and some of the more interesting articles that followed on their other travels are still suppressed here so I ended up reading them in German (ugg... toothache at the thought) and Czech (more toothache, but at least I can read that). They were republished in Russia by the way too. But not here - did not match the narrative.

          As far as the narrative, narratives are pushed by both governments equally. That is done by the howling Twitterati mob today.

          For example, I can bet that the "Americans drilled it" was pushed at least as equally on both sides.

          Them as a part of the narrative. Us as a part of "see they are paranoid vindictive lunatics". Just as prescribed by our propaganda outline.

          Both sides gently filtering things which disprove the narrative like the very early leak from the investigative commission in RKK Energia published in their press that it would take a 50cm long drill bit to make the hole while in orbit. Exercise to the reader - material has not been republished even once by any English speaking mainline press despite being available almost immediately after the incident and the next day after the "Americans drilled it" in Russian. The Russian one is here: https://www.gazeta.ru/science/news/2018/09/13/n_12028513.shtml

          (*) The two tourists are an entirely different story. Quite interesting one too. They clearly possess X-ray vision to end up in the same location as Mr Skripal on multiple of his consultancy stints all of which were classified and visiting various European secret services. This is published quite extensively by European press which continued digging long after the UK one moved along. They however, clearly suck as hired killers as they failed to eliminate him on all of the previous occasions. Or maybe...

  2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

    When was the hole made?

    Presumably they want to know when in the production process it happened. If there was swarf on the outside, it was made after the insulation was fitted. If not, before. And there might be a clue from the directionality of the cut edges as to whether it was made from inside or outside.

    This kind of investigation is done when looking at defects in cars - such as rust around fasteners. Did it occur due to defective paint, or careless assembly.

    Isolate the section of the production process, get out the rubber truncheons.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When was the hole made?

      Nope. They already "know" it was made by a rogue astronaut. Everything else is just cover-up.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: When was the hole made?

        Given the animosity between the two halves of the ISS, I seriously doubt that an astronaut would be able to get to the Russian side, with a drill, unnoticed. If you're intent on blaming an inhabitant of the ISS, you need to blame a cosmonaut.

        1. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: When was the hole made?

          On orbit there is little animosity between the 'nauts. NASA nauts visit the Russian section, and vice versa. And 2 of those non Russians are hitching a ride back on that very Soyuz so they are surely allowed to go in there.

          1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

            Re: When was the hole made?

            If you watch some of the stuff from the ISS, it's pretty clear that while the crews may not be engaging in zero G orgies, they do all get on well, especially considering that you're sharing a rather cramped space.

            Plus it's still pretty hard to become an astro/cosmonaut. So I'd expect "getting on with others" is part of the psych profile.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: When was the hole made?

          Given the animosity

          You are mistaking what goes on on Earth with what goes on up there.

          I would not say it is all "friendship and kisses" up there, but when you are locked up in a space which is smaller than your average office 24x7 for weeks you have no choice but to put some of your managers' idiocies aside. If you do not, things end up very very ugly very soon.

          So far they have not, which clearly indicates that the astronauts themselves are better professionals (and better humans for that matter) than the entirety of the management and political ladders on both sides. All the way to the top.

          1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: When was the hole made?

            Yes, sorry, it was poorly phrased. I meant that the controllers on the ground would be monitoring the activities on-board and that they would thus notice a rogue astronaut with a drill in the Russian segment.

            Like in most industries, the "boots on the ground" (or in this case ~200 miles above it) are fine and happy to work together, it's the manglement level that screws things up.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: When was the hole made?

      get out the rubber truncheons.

      Followed by a no-expenses-paid trip to the colder parts of Siberia on work experience.

  3. TheGriz
    Mushroom

    I wouldn't want to be one of the three depending on that craft to get me safely back to terra firma. I can hear the words during re-entry... "Hey Sergey, put your finger in this hole until it gets too hot for you to keep it in the hole." LOL

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      The hole is in the orbital section of the craft that is jettisoned before re-entry and burns up in the atmosphere anyway. RTAF.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

        RTAF?

        Read The Article....Fucko?

        1. Alistair Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: RTAF?

          @Kerplunk

          Read The Article....FuckoFuckwit?

          FTFY

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: RTAF?

            Either, or.

  4. Chairman of the Bored Silver badge

    Who wrote the headline for this article?

    I was enjoying my coffee. Now I am wearing it. V good.

    Missed a trick though: could have stated that the 'naughts had to beat their way through some thick muff before finding the hole. Only to discover that some bloke had already drilled it.

    I'll get my own coat, it's got fresh coffee on it

  5. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
    Trollface

    Prank Check

    I think the cosmonauts were hoping to find a doodle of a monkey pointing to the "hole" in his butt.

    The comrades at the factory can be so funny.

    Otherwise, this hole thing was not cool, not cool at all.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Prank Check

      /me observes goat-man backside plus hands graffiti hastily drawn around the hole in black felt-tip marker...

      (that's because there were no spray paint cans available)

  6. spold Bronze badge

    I'm sure it sucks

    I miss the earth so much I miss my wife

    It's lonely out in space

    On such a timeless flight

    (Sorry Elton)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They didn't look around properly

    I'd be looking for a loose bit of chewing gum

    :)

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Wot? No "rocket surgery" joke? I am disappoint!

    Christ... watching him wave a knife around was making me cringe. I was just waiting for him to slice a glove. The bad part was when they were mostly through the MLI, and it was enough to get in the way, but not enough to peel back and clamp, and he was just blindly cutting things while wearing a pressure suit.

    The Strela boom was complete useless shite. It didn't help restrain him in place at all. Most of the restraint was provided by the second cosmonaut doing his best to physically hold him, and they were complaining/joking constantly that they really needed a third.

    Also, they didn't just cut out insulation, they sliced out the sheet-metal micrometeorite shielding as well. Pretty damn invasive for a spacecraft you intend to fly next week.

  9. Peter X
    Alert

    Bits of foil

    The footage from the BBC website:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/science-environment-46535455/samples-cut-around-soyuz-hole-in-spacewalk

    ... appears to show quite a few bits of foil floating about. Is that not a really bad thing?

    1. Chris Gray 1
      Joke

      Re: Bits of foil

      Yeah, couldn't they have at least vacuumed up the floating bits?

      1. SealTeam6

        Re: Bits of foil

        how can you vacuum when space is a vacuum ?

        vacuums work by sucking in air, and dust with it.

        1. navidier

          Re: Bits of foil

          My students in Zuerich used to deride English; "Vacuum cleaner? How can you clean a vacuum?" The (Swiss-)German for a vacuum cleaner is Staubsauger (dust-sucker).

        2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: Bits of foil

          "vacuums work by sucking in air, and dust with it."

          No ... vacuums lower the machine's internal air pressure and causes the external air to blow in taking dust into the unit so technically all you have to do is have a largely closed filter/catch bag and a pressurised gas supply to build a space vacuum (blower?) thing.

          BTW I published my idea for a space cleaner here first ...

        3. mosw

          Re: Bits of foil

          >how can you vacuum when space is a vacuum ?

          First you build a Dyson's sphere ...

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Bits of foil

      Is that not a really bad thing?

      Not really. Solar "pressure" will blow it out of the way in a couple of hours. Tops.

      In any case, the samples should prove definitively if it is done in orbit or not. Even "space grade" materials oxidise, doubly so when they are being drilled. But not in vacuum. So the chemical composition of the "scrape" will give the answer.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Bits of foil

        actually, escaping air through the hole would have enough oxygen in it to oxidize most materials that they'd make spacecraft out of, such as aluminum or titanium, both of which rapidly form a protective oxide coating when exposed to O2 in air...

        [hence welding aluminum or titanium is extremely difficult, compare to other materials, because of the oxidation and thermal properties and other such thing]

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Bits of foil

          both of which rapidly form a protective oxide coating when exposed to O2 in air...

          Have you drilled either one of them? Machining titanium and aluminium is an entertaining thing.

          Al2O3 which forms on the fly when drilling in atmosphere is an extremely strong abrasive. It will scrape a lot from the drill bit. The drill location heats up and the Al itself starts to flow, "grab" the drill bit, etc. Titanium behaves in a fairly similar manner. While TiO2 is less abrasive, Ti is even nastier for trying to grab your drill bit so that the drill twists your arm off.

          The thermal plasticity, composition of the oxides, drill bit material traces in the oxide will differ depending on presence/absence of vacuum and/or insulation blanket on the other side. Will it differ enough to make a definitive conclusion where and when it was drilled - no idea. But it will differ.

          My personal guess is a disgruntled idiot on the ground by the way.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Bits of foil

            "Al2O3 which forms on the fly when drilling in atmosphere is an extremely strong abrasive. It will scrape a lot from the drill bit. The drill location heats up and the Al itself starts to flow, "grab" the drill bit, etc. Titanium behaves in a fairly similar manner. While TiO2 is less abrasive, Ti is even nastier for trying to grab your drill bit so that the drill twists your arm off."

            All of this is _why_ you use some kind of lubricant/coolant when drilling these materials.

            "My personal guess is a disgruntled idiot on the ground by the way."

            Never attribute to animosity what can be explained by cluelessness.

            This is a country where too many people drive (and show up to work) drunk. It's more likely Comrade Ivan Ivanovitch fucked up and tried to cover it up, or his supervisor covered it up, because he didn't want a bollocking. (Something similar in a nuclear waste disposal plant resulted in the deaths of the people concerned over the next few days due to radiation poisoning. They'd have been saveable if they'd immediately said what happened but they all (literally) swept the evidence down a drain to get rid of it.)

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Bits of foil

      The bits floating around have a large surface area to mass ratio, meaning they'll de-orbit very soon. Solar pressure will help to get them clear too.

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Alien

    New old song

    There's a hole in the soyuz, dear Liza, dear Liza,

    There's a hole in the soyuz, dear Liza, a hole.

    Well, fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,

    Well, fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

    With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza?

    With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, with what?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: New old song

      With epoxy, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry.

      With epoxy, dear Henry, then scarper. Blyat!

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: New old song

        The epoxy won't harden, dear Lisa, dear Lisa.

        The epoxy won't harden, dear Lisa, won't set.

        1. Spasticus Autisticus

          Re: "as much value as a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory"

          Well, warm it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,

          Well, warm it, dear Henry, dear Henry, and hope!

          1. A Nother Handle

            Re: "as much value as a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory"

            With what shall I warm it, dear Liza, dear Liza?

            With what shall I warm it, dear Liza, with what?

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
              Flame

              Re: "as much value as a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory"

              Atmospheric re-entry dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry.

              Atmospheric re-entry dear Henry, dear Henry. Then pray!

              1. imanidiot Silver badge

                Re: "as much value as a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory"

                The rockets won't fire, dear Lisa, dear Lisa.

                The rockets won't fire, dear Lisa, won't burn

                1. Spasticus Autisticus

                  Re: New old song

                  Get fuel, dear Henry, dear Henry

                  Get fuel, dear Henry, dear Henry, get fuel

                  How to get fuel dear Lisa, dear Lisa

                  How to get fuel dear Lisa, dear Lisa, how?

                  With a Soyuz dear Henry, dear Henry

                  With a Soyuz dear Henry, dear Henry, a Soyuz

                  There’s a hole in my Soyuz ……..

                  Just had to finish the loop off.

                  Apologies for change in title too - the 'dead rats' is automatically inserted in my replies and I forgot to change it. Might be something to do with NoScript.

  11. Herby Silver badge

    Maybe...

    It got a bit of religion on the way to space. Holy hole, Batman. Of course, it is near Christmas.

  12. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    We demand to know which fizzy beverage was used to find the leak. Was it proper American freedom in a bottle Dr Pepper* or was it some disgusting Russian anti-democracy concoction?

    Also, if this hole was made groundside, why wasn't it filled the proper way by tapping a thread and fitting a suitably sized machine screw from the inside, then grinding the excess pokey-outey bit down to the hull and covering with paint?

    * - Full disclosure: Can't stand the taste of Dr Pepper myself but it's the principle that counts, g'dammit, and we are bound by established tradition in these matters..

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: Bah!

      why wasn't it filled the proper way

      The usual reason, it has to be ready by tomorrow or we miss the deadline and piss off the management. Or, put another way; "Is ready now, or gulag for you".

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019