The leakage of the coolant of the thermal control system of the Progress MS-21 cargo ship, flooded on Sunday, February 19, most likely occurred due to external influence. This is reported by TASS with reference to Roskosmos .
According to the specialists of the state corporation, the corresponding conclusion was made on the basis of images taken after the spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station (ISS). Holes were found on the outer surface of the ship, including on the radiator of the instrumentation compartment and solar panels, which were not fixed either at the factory during the manufacture of the ship, or at the cosmodrome or during the flight.
The diameter of the hole that led to the depressurization was 12 millimeters. To determine the possible causes of its appearance, damage to Progress MS-21 will be simulated on Earth.
The Progress MS-21 spacecraft was launched on October 26 last year and two days later delivered more than 2.5 tons of cargo to the ISS. A coolant leak from the ship was recorded on February 11. Later, the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation (RKK) decided to de-orbit the Progress MS-21 cargo spacecraft. Structural elements that did not burn up in the atmosphere fell in a non-navigable area of the South Pacific Ocean.