Two Chinese astronauts take six-hour spacewalk

A six-hour spacewalk. Two of the three astronauts aboard the Chinese space station Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”) completed this spacewalk on Friday without incident, the first carried out during the current Shenzhou-14 mission, which began in June and is due to last six months, indicated the agency in charge of manned flights (CMSA).

Astronaut Chen Dong (43) and his teammate Liu Yang (43), both army pilots, returned to the station shortly after midnight, according to CMSA, which described the operation as a ” complete success”. The space agency has released a video of the two Chinese in white cosmonaut suits, in front of an azure blue Earth scrolling on the horizon.

The astronauts notably proceeded to the installation of a camera, pumps and tested an emergency return procedure in the station as well as a new robotic arm.

Billions of euros invested

Named in Chinese Tiangong, but also known by its acronym CSS (for “Chinese space station” in English), the space station should be finalized by the end of the year with the arrival of a third and final module. The station will then have its final T-shaped appearance. It will be similar in size to the former Russian-Soviet Mir station. Its life should be at least 10 years.

China invests billions of euros in its space program. The Asian giant sent its first astronaut into space in 2003. In 2019, the country landed a machine on the far side of the Moon, a world first. In 2020, China brought back samples from the Moon and the following year landed a small robot on Mars.

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