China’s Shenzhou-13 crew are carrying out spacewalking duties on Sunday, using “Feitian” EVA suits for work outside the Tianhe space station core module.

Credit: CMS/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Chinese taikonauts Zhai Zhigang and female colleague Wang Yaping are performing the spacewalks with Ye Guangfu in the cabin supporting the EVAs.

According to the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) the spacewalk will last for about 6 hours with Wang becoming the first female taikonaut of China’s space corps to conduct an EVA.

Credit: CCTV/CMSEO/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Emergency practice

Earlier, the three Chinese astronauts in the under-construction Tiangong space station carried out an emergency evacuation exercise on a scenario of a crash caused by space debris.

China Central Television (CCTV) reported that the exercise started with an alarm for the loss of pressure in the space station. Astronaut Zhai Zhigang made judgments about the data of the pressure, while Ye Guangfu responded by opening the emergency gas cylinder to ensure that the pressure in the cabin remained stable.

Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu soon closed the hatches of the two cargo crafts in a few minutes and evacuated to the return capsule of the Shenzhou-13.

China’s space station is projected to be completed in late 2022.
Credit: CAST

Astronaut safety

“We have data criteria for the emergency management, such as the cabin pressure and its decline rate. The astronauts will open the emergency gas cylinder at first, and check where the leakage happens. If the core module is not leaking, they will go to check the spaceship. The astronauts need to close the hatches after ensuring the spaceship is fine,” said Wang Chunhui, deputy chief designer of astronaut system of the China Astronaut Research and Training Center.

Shenzhou-13 crew conducts an emergency evacuation drill onboard the country’s space station, November 7. 2021. CCCTV/China Media Group

“The design of the space station has set the highest requirements for the astronauts’ safety. We have all emergency preparedness for the pressure loss in the cabin, fire and other situations to ensure the life safety of the astronauts,” Wang told CCTV.

The three Chinese astronauts have been working and living in orbit after entering the core module on October 16.

The combination of China’s space station is formed by the Shenzhou-13 spaceship, Tianhe core module, and cargo craft Tianzhou-2 and Tianzhou-3.

Go to this just-released video via China National Space Administration (CNSA)/China Media Group(CMG)/China Central Television (CCTV) at:

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