Shenzhou-13 taikonauts conduct second extravehicular activities


China’s Shenzhou-13 astronauts at the country’s first space station went out for their second spacewalk on Sunday, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

Taikonaut Ye Guangfu opened the airlock door around 18:44 (Beijing time) and exited Tianhe, the station’s core module, at 18:50, followed by Zhai Zhigang at 19:37, while their teammate Wang Yaping remained inside to support the extra vehicular activities (EVAs), which included elevating a panoramic camera outside with the assistance of the robotic arm.

According to the CMSA, spacewalks or EVAs have become a norm in space station missions, and Chinese astronauts will carry out more frequent and complex EVAs in future for smooth construction and stable operation of the space station, CMG reported on Sunday, citing the CMSA. 

The three taikonauts were sent to the space station in October aboard the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft for a six-month stay, the longest ever in China’s space program.

The team also performed a 6.5-hour spacewalk in November, during which Zhai and Wang went outside and Ye stayed inside.

The first spacewalk was a complete success, which further tested the functions of China’s self-developed extravehicular spacesuits and the reliability and safety of the supporting equipment related to the EVAs. 

Since then, the trio has conducted various tasks, including medical checks, space experiments, inspection and daily maintenance of the space station, and in-orbit training programs, such as emergency evacuation and medical rescue.

On December 9, Wang, the first female taikonaut to enter a space station, gave a space lecture from the Tianhe core module, which amazed numerous Chinese students on Earth.

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