Image by Shujianyang on commons.wikimedia.org
The third spacewalk was completed by the Shenzhou-14 taikonaut crew while they were stationed at the Tiengong (sky palace) Space Station, which China is constructing in Earth’s orbit.
Taikonauts Chen Dong and Cai Xuzhe finished their morning-long spacewalk at 16:50 local time, according to a statement published by the China Manned Space Program Agency (CMSA). They then returned to the main module.
All throughout the off-vehicle incident, Taikonaut Liu Yang, who stayed at the station, supported his teammates emotionally.
The Taikonaut team completed the out-of-cabin bridge linking the Vintien and Mingtien laboratory modules to the core module during the spacewalk, which lasts approximately 5.5 hours. The taikonauts also checked the airlock cabin and auxiliary systems, unlocked the Vintien module’s panoramic camera, and connected auxiliary handles to its small robotic arm. This was the third extravehicular activity of the taikonaut team sent to the space station as part of the Shenzhou-14 mission and the seventh spacewalk for the construction of the space station.
On June 5th, the Shenzhou-14 taikonaut crew was launched to the station. The taikonauts, who will be brought to the station by the Shenzhou-15 shuttle next month, will take over the duty from the team, which will stay at the station until the end of the year.
A SPACE STATION WILL BE CONSTRUCTED IN CHINA
Since the United States opposes collaboration in the sector of space exploration and prevents China from participating in the International Space Station (ISS) program, China is planning to build its own space station.
The Tiangong (Palace in the Sky) station is expected to include a core module, two laboratory modules, and a space telescope. It will be approximately the same size as Russia’s now-defunct Mir Space Station.
The first laboratory module, “Vintien” (seeking the sky), was introduced on July 24. The second laboratory module, “Mingtien,” was launched on October 31. The major component of the station, the core module dubbed “Tianhe” (Harmony of the Heavens), was launched on April 29, 2021.
The station’s “T-shaped” frame was finished when laboratory modules were added to the core module. The “Xuntian” (survey of the heavens) space telescope will be added to the station as a separate module after the main skeleton has been constructed.
A three-person taikonaut crew alternates at the station, whose assembly is expected to be finished by the end of 2022.