Two Chinese astronauts took four-hour spacewalk exterior the nation’s rising Tiangong station this weekend to work on its latest laboratory module, in keeping with state media reviews.
Astronauts Chen Dong and Cai Xuzhe of the China National Space Administration started their spacewalk Saturday (Sept. 17) at 1:35 a.m. EDT (0535 GMT or 1:35 p.m. Beijing time) exterior the Tiangong space station and spent 4 hours and 12 minutes engaged on its new Wentian laboratory module, in keeping with the state-run CCTV news channel (opens in new tab).
“With the aid of the small mechanical arm, astronauts Cai and Chen conducted a series of extravehicular tasks, including the installation of extravehicular assistance handles and the extended pump set of the load circuits. They also verified the extravehicular rescue capability,” CCTV wrote of the tour. Chen is the commander of the station’s Shenzhou 14 mission.
Video: Chinese astronauts start testing new space station module
The duo had been assisted from contained in the Tiangong space station by crewmate Liu Yang, who participated in an earlier spacewalk on Sept. 1, the first out of the Wentian module, with Chen two weeks in the past. Yang additionally grew to become China’s first feminine astronaut in 2012 in the course of the Shenzhou 9 mission to the Tiangong 1 space laboratory.
The Shenzhou 14 crew has been configuring the newly arrived Wentian on the space station. China launched the Wentian module on July 24. It docked with the Tianhe core module of the Tiangong station a couple of hours later, doubling the station’s variety of modules to 2.
Chinese officers have mentioned Wentian’s addition will enable Tiangong to host as many as six folks at a time. Shenzhou 14’s crew is anticipated to do the first-ever handover with Shenzhou 15 in December.
The Shenzhou 14 crew launched on June 3 with a mission to conduct development on the space station, which is estimated at roughly 20% the mass of the a lot bigger International Space Station (ISS), in keeping with Chinese officers. China doesn’t take part in ISS actions attributable to U.S. restrictions set by nationwide policy-makers.
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