The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) has announced that two taikonauts successfully exited the Tianhe space station yesterday for China’s second ever spacewalk.
The taikonauts, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, were supported by Nie Haisheng from the cabin as they carried out extravehicular operations for approximately seven hours.
Liu installed footsteps on the robotic arm that will be used to assemble the rest of the station, and a workstation outside the cabin. He then rode a mechanical arm to a work point where he met Tang.
Tang had climbed to the work point using handrails and tested the station's emergency escape plan on the way.
The two adjusted the position of a panoramic camera by installing a lifting bracket. At launch the camera was initially installed at a low position with a limited view, but was lifted to facilitate a broader monitoring of Tianhe's cabin.
The crew left Earth for the space station on June 17, five years after China’s previous crewed mission. The only other Chinese spacewalk was 13 years ago and lasted 20 minutes during the 2008 Shenzhou-7 mission. It also involved Liu.
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The walk was televised by state broadcaster CGTN.
The spacewalk took place just a few days after the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party, which meant a message from the core module.
Three Chinese astronauts or taikonauts stationed in China's #Tianhe core module on Tuesday sent birthday wishes to the Communist Party of China ahead of its centenary. #CPC100Years pic.twitter.com/qPEKqlHT6G— libijian李碧建 (@libijian2) June 30, 2021