One of the astronauts – Liu Boming, was transported via mechanical arm to a work site and the other – Tang Hongbo was moved by climbing on the outside of the cabin.
Astronauts at China’s new space station conducted their first spacewalk on Sunday, news agency AFP reported quoting the Chinese state media. This comes as part of Beijing’s plan to expand its extraterrestrial ambitions.
Three spacemen blasted off in June, docking at the Tiangong station where they are to remain for three months in China’s longest crewed mission to date. On Sunday morning, two of them exited the core cabin, said state broadcaster CCTV.
One of the astronauts – Liu Boming, was transported via mechanical arm to a work site and the other – Tang Hongbo was moved by climbing on the outside of the cabin. Their mission involves elevating the panoramic camera outside the Tianhe core module, as well as verifying the robotic arm’s transfer capability.
Television footage showed the astronauts preparing for the spacewalk by donning gear and conducting health checks while exercising in the cabin. The astronauts were later shown opening the cabin door and exiting the module, in the first of two spacewalks planned for the mission, both expected to last six or seven hours. The crew underwent more than 6,000 hours of training for preparation.
The launch of China’s first crewed mission in nearly five years is a matter of huge prestige for the country, as Beijing marks the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party this month.
The Chinese space agency is planning a total of 11 launches by the end of next year, including three more manned missions that will deliver two lab modules to expand the 70-tonne station, along with supplies and crew members.