Credit: GLOBALink/Inside Outer Space screengrab

China’s on-going space station construction includes use of a small robotic arm attached to the recently lofted Wentian lab module.

The China Manned Space Agency (CMS) said on Wednesday that arm has completed a series of in-orbit tests.

A new video released shows the tests, with the small robotic arm disengaging from its base, crawling on the surface of the space station, and docking with one of the adapters on the surface of the space station.

According to China Central Television (CCTV), the small robotic arm, measuring about 20-feet (six meters) can operate within the area of a circle with a radius of 16-feet (five meters) and carry payloads of up to three tons.

Credit: China National Space Administration (CNSA)/China Media Group(CMG)/China Central Television (CCTV)/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Multi-module stage

The small arm can operate alone, or work together with the existing large robotic arm of Tianhe core module.

The small robotic arm, CCTV reports, will be responsible for six missions, including supporting the astronauts’ extravehicular activities, delivering goods, and maintaining and repairing the exterior of the space station.

Credit: Lee Brandon-Cremer (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Wentian lab module was launched from southern China’s Hainan Province on July 24 and docked with the Tianhe core module of the China Space Station in the early hours of July 25.

China has entered the “multi-module” stage in the construction of its space station. The space station has evolved from a single-module structure into a national space laboratory with three modules, the core module Tianhe, and two lab modules Wentian and Mengtian, the last of which is set to be launched in October, CCTV notes.

Go to this video showing the small robotic arm testing at:

Also, go to this informative China Global Television Network (CGTN) video — Tech Breakdown: A closer look into China’s new space robotic arm – at:

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