Image credit: CMSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

China’s Shenzhou-18 space station crew has completed its second spacewalk.

The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) stated on Wednesday that Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu worked together for about 6.5 hours to complete multiple tasks.

Co-taikonaut Li Guangsu remained inside the space station. Beijing Aerospace Control Center staff assisted in carrying out spacewalk tasks.

Space debris protection

China Central Television (CCTV) has reported: “With the assistance of the space station’s robotic arm and researchers on Earth, they installed space debris protection devices for the pipelines, as well as cables and key equipment outside the Tiangong space station, and conducted an extravehicular inspection.”

Image credit: CMSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Liu Ming, engineer for the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said the main purpose of this most recent spacewalk was to install protection devices for extravehicular equipment, mainly cables and pipelines, “so as to improve the space station’s ability to operate safely and steadily over the long term.”

Robotic arm

China astronaut Li Cong opened the hatch door of the Wentian space lab module to begin his first spacewalk, aided by the orbital outpost’s robotic arm.

Image credit: CMSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

He was followed by Ye that transferred the relevant equipment and devices out of the space station. Working in concert with Li, they installed protection devices for the cables of the Wentian lab module and the pipelines of the Tianhe core module.

The station trio carried out their previous spacewalk on May 28, installing protection devices for the extravehicular cables on the Mengtian lab module.

“There are more protection devices we have to install this time than the previous spacewalk. During the process, astronauts needed to get from the exit hatch to the relevant operation points, which took them a lot of time. But they have completed the task with ease,” Wu Dawei, an expert with the China Astronaut Research and Training Center, told CCTV.

Image credit: CMSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Stable status

The Shenzhou-18 crew was launched April 25 this year. At this point in their mission, the threesome have completed one third of their space journey.

As the third crewed mission in the “application and development stage” of China’s space station, it is also the 32nd flight mission of the country’s overall human spaceflight program.

According to the CMSA, the space station combination is now in a stable status with all equipment functioning well.

High-definition images of China’s space station were taken by the departing Shenzhou-16 crew last October 30.
Image credit: CMS














Go to this CCTV video focused on the second spacewalk at:

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