American astronauts were not involved in the appearance of a hole in the living compartment of the Soyuz MS-09 docked to the ISS in 2018. This was stated by Assistant to the Head of NASA for Manned Flights Katie Leaders, commenting on the TASS publication, in which, with reference to a source, it was reported about the probable drilling of a hole in the ship by astronaut Serina Auñon-Chancellor.
“NASA crew members carry out their missions professionally and honestly … I support Serina and her professional conduct, and I do not find this accusation credible,” Leaders said.
On the eve of TASS published an anonymous interview with an unnamed top manager of Roscosmos, in which the agency’s interlocutor said that Auñon-Chancellor, being the only woman in the crew, had gone through an “acute psychological crisis.” The source of the publication explained that, wanting to speed up her return to Earth due to an emergency situation, the American drilled a hole that threatened to depressurize the station.
As one of the confirmations of his version, the interlocutor of the agency indicated that the NASA astronauts refused to take a lie detector test. The hole was drilled in zero gravity, the source said.
An air leak at the International Space Station (ISS) was discovered by the crew on the night of August 30, 2018. It was caused by a hole in the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft. It was located in the living compartment, and not in the descent vehicle, therefore it did not threaten the return of the crew to Earth. Dmitry Rogozin, the general director of Roskosmos, reported that the commission of the Rocket and Space Corporation (RSC) Energia ruled out the version of damage to the skin of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft as a result of a manufacturing defect.