Jul 4, 2021 - Science

Chinese astronauts take first spacewalk at new orbital station

Picture of the back of a man's head watching the live TV broadcast in front of the TV that shows an astronaut doing a spacewalk.
Photo: Sheldon Cooper /SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Chinese astronauts on Sunday made the first spacewalk outside China's new space station core module Tianhe to set up equipment on a 15-meter robotic arm.

State of play: Astronauts Liu Boming's and Tang Hongbo's spacewalk was streamed on local media. They were supported by a third crew member, Nie Haisheng, who stayed inside the cabin.

  • Liu and Tang spent seven hours outside of the station, AP reports.

The big picture: Liu, Tang and Nie landed on June 17 for a three-month mission on China’s third orbital station, part of the program that landed a robot rover on Mars in May.

Worth noting: Liu participated in the Shenzhou 7 mission in 2008, where another astronaut made China's first-ever spacewalk, per AP.

What to watch: China is planning a total of 11 launches throughout the end of 2022 to add more modules to their newest space station.

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