State media reported that astronauts on China’s new space station conducted the first spacewalk. This was only the second time that Chinese astronauts had disembarked from their spacecraft during a space mission.
Three astronauts took off on June 17 and arrived at Tiangong Station, where they will stay for three months during China’s longest manned mission to date. On Sunday morning, two of them left the space station, according to state broadcaster CCTV. One, Liu Boming, was carried to the workplace by a mechanical arm and the other, Tang Hongbo, climbed by himself. State media said their job includes lifting the panoramic camera outside the base unit on Tianhe, as well as checking the robotic arm’s transportation capability.
Six to seven o’clock
Television footage showed astronauts preparing for a spacewalk by donning their gear and checking their health while exercising in the cabin. It is the first of two spacewalks planned for the mission. Both are expected to take six to seven hours.
An ambitious China has little or no cooperation with other countries in space travel. If the space station is ready by 2023, that could change. “In the near future, we will see Chinese and foreign astronauts together on the Chinese space station,” said the director of the Chinese space program.
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