Image credit: CGTN/Inside Outer Space screengrab

China’s Shenzhou-17 crew completed their first space walk activity on Thursday, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

The astronauts have been stationed in China’s orbital complex, the Tiangong space station, for 54 days, nearly one-third of their six-month space mission.

The Shenzhou-17 crew is comprised of commander Tang Hongbo, 48, and operators Tang Shengjie and Jiang Xinlin, aged 34 and 35, respectively. This taikonaut trio is on tap to undertake a series of tasks, including in-orbit tests of space science and application payloads, extravehicular activities, installation of extravehicular payloads, and space station maintenance.

Image credit: CMSA

Launched into space on October 26, the Shenzhou 17 mission is the 12th crewed Chinese spaceflight and the 17th flight overall of the Shenzhou program.

Next up

Meanwhile, the Long March-7 Y8 carrier rocket that will loft the uncrewed Tianzhou-7 cargo ship has been transported to the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern province of Hainan on Thursday.

The rocket will undergo assembly and testing together with Tianzhou-7, which arrived earlier in November, the CMSA said. At present, all testing systems at the launch site are gearing up for the early next year launch as planned.

China has scheduled four missions to its space station in 2024, including two cargo spacecraft, the Tianzhou-7 and the Tianzhou-8.

Also, two piloted missions, the Shenzhou-18 and the Shenzhou-19 will be launched in 2024, the CMSA said.

Image credit: CGTN infographic by Yu Peng

Leave a Reply