Russia threatens criminal charges against married NASA astronaut, 45, over claims she drilled HOLE in their spacecraft while it was docked in ISS ‘because she’d broken up with crew member and wanted to go home’. By Stacy Liberatore.
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, has threatened to press charges against a NASA astronaut who it claims drilled a two millimeter hole in a Soyuz MS-09 vehicle that was docked with the International Space Station (ISS) in 2018.
The agency recently completed its investigation into what it deems was a sabotage, citing Serena Auñón-Chancellor, a crew member of the ISS at the time of the incident, as the culprit.
The allegations have been handed over to Russian law enforcement, allowing Roscosmos to announce the possibility of criminal charges.
The Izvestia newspaper reported on Friday, citing sources, that Auñón-Chancellor made the hole with the hopes of return home early, TASS reports.
Sources told the Russian news outlet that Auñón-Chancellor wanted to leave the orbiting laboratory due to a blood clot or fight with her boyfriend onboard the ISS.
However, Auñón-Chancellor was married to Jeff Chancellor when she was in space – and the two are still married to this day – so it is unclear who the ‘boyfriend’ was as stated by Russian insiders. …
The hole was spotted on August 30, 2018, after a pressure drop was identified due to an air leak.
Russian cosmonauts quickly plugged the hole and restored pressure, patching it up with several layers of epoxy resin – a glue-like substance. …
NASA responded by saying it does not comment on medical matters but disputed the claim, describing the astronaut as extremely well respected and as making many invaluable contributions. …
NASA claimed the astronauts on board were never in danger of suffocation due to the ‘lifeboat’ spacecraft attached to the station to provide a return to Earth. …
Further investigation revealed the hole had been made from the inside, ruling out space debris as the cause.
Sergey Prokopyev and two other astronauts, Auñón-Chancellor of NASA and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency, were on board when it was detected. …
An article published by TASS … discuss[ed] the mental health of Auñón-Chancellor, suggesting she took drastic action to ‘speed up her return to Earth’.
It lists the reasons behind the defamatory claim, suggesting the video camera at the junction of the Russian and American segments ‘mysteriously’ stopped working at the time and that the US astronauts refused to pass a polygraph.
Roscosmos insiders told TASS that the Russian astronauts took a polygraph and added the agency wasn’t allowed to examine the tools and drills on the ISS for presence of the remains of metal shavings.
That would make a great movie. “The Wrong Stuff”.