China's astronauts make spacewalk to upgrade robotic arm
by AFP Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 20, 2021
Chinese astronauts edged into space on Friday to add the finishing touches to a robotic arm on the Tiangong space station.
The foray, the second spacewalk in two months and relayed on state television, is part of China's heavily promoted space programme which has already seen the nation land a rover on Mars and send probes to the moon.
In June, three crew arrived at the station, where they are set to remain in space for a total of three months in China's longest crewed mission to date.
On Friday, astronauts Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming successfully exited the Tianhe core module to install foot stops and a workbench on the station's robotic arm, said the China Manned Space Agency in a statement.
Video footage showed the astronauts working outside the spacecraft while tethered to it with a long rope.
Their tasks also include working on a thermal unit and adjusting a panoramic camera, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
This marks only the third spacewalk for Chinese astronauts, after the first in 2008 -- when Zhai Zhigang made China the third country to complete a spacewalk after the Soviet Union and the United States.
The second took place in early July, when Liu and the third crew member Tang Hongbo left the station.
It is China's first crewed mission in nearly five years and a matter of huge prestige as the country marks the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party.
Mars mission outcomes to advance space research
Beijing (XNA) Aug 18, 2021
China's Tianwen 1 Mars mission has generated a great deal of engineering and scientific data that will extensively advance research about the planet and support future exploration, according to mission leaders. Liu Jianjun, chief designer of the Tianwen 1 mission's scientific system, said on Tuesday in Beijing that the 13 scientific devices mounted on Tianwen 1's orbiter and the Zhurong rover have generated more than 420 gigabytes of primary data since the mission was launched on July 23, 2020, fr ... read more
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