Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng and Zhu Yangzhu successfully completed the first spacewalk of the ongoing Shenzhou 16 mission. The historic extravehicular activity (EVA) took place on July 20 outside the Tiangong space station.
During the approximately eight-hour EVA, Jing and Zhu undertook various tasks crucial to the maintenance of the space station. Their teammate, Gui Haichao, played a vital role by operating the robotic arm from inside the space station.
Remarkably, the entire spacewalk was not broadcasted to the public, and its occurrence was only revealed after the safe return of the astronauts to the Tiangong space station. This decision to keep the EVA covert reflects China’s strategy to exercise caution and prioritize mission success.
Jing and Zhu’s tasks during the spacewalk included installing and lifting the support frame for a panoramic camera. This camera will contribute to recording stunning visuals of Earth from space, allowing scientists and the public alike to gain a unique perspective on our planet. Additionally, the astronauts successfully unlocked and lifted two panoramic cameras from outside the space station’s modules.
Although this was Jing Haipeng’s first spacewalk, he is no stranger to space exploration. In fact, this mission marks his fourth trip to space. Zhu Yangzhu, on the other hand, achieved a significant milestone as the first flight engineer astronaut from China to perform an EVA. Their collaboration and expertise have contributed to the success of the Shenzhou 16 mission.
As the Chinese space program continues to make remarkable strides, this spacewalk represents a major accomplishment for the nation. It highlights China’s growing presence and capabilities in space exploration, mirroring its ambitions to become a leading player in the field.
The completion of this spacewalk brings China one step closer to its long-term goal of building a fully-functioning space station by 2022. These endeavors signify the nation’s commitment to advancing its scientific prowess and expanding its knowledge of outer space.
As the world eagerly watches China’s space missions unfold, it is clear that the country is making significant progress in its quest for cosmic exploration. With each successful milestone reached, China moves closer to carving out its place among the spacefaring nations of the world.