Chinese astronauts complete First Spacewalk at New Space Station

Chinese astronauts have successfully performed China’s first tandem spacewalk on July 4, 2021. They worked for seven hours outside new Tiangong station in orbit around the Earth.

Key Points

  • Construction of Tiangong is a major step in China’s ambitious space programme. It has seen nation land a rover on Mars and send probes to Moon.
  • Three astronauts were blasted off in June 2021 to become station’s first crew.
  • Astronauts would remain there for three months in the mission which is being dubbed as China’s longest crewed mission to date.
  • Two of the astronauts exited the station for some seven hours of work in first spacewalk at Tiangong.
  • They returned safely. Safe return of astronauts Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo to Tianhe core module highlights complete success of first spacewalk in space station constructed by China.

What was the purpose of Spacewalk?

Astronauts conducted the spacewalk with the objective of elevating a panoramic camera outside Tianhe core module and to test station’s robotic arm which will be used to transfer future modules on station. Astronauts installed foot stops on robotic arm and carried out other assembly work.

Tiangong Space Station

This space station is placed in low Earth orbit at the distance between 340 and 450 km above the surface. Once completed, it will be about one-fifth if mass of International Space Station and equal to the size of decommissioned Russian Mir space station. Its mass is expected to have between 80t and 100t. Operations of the Space Station will be controlled from Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Centre in China. Tianhe in its core module which was launched on April 29, 2021. Tianhe means “Harmony of the Heavens”.

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