For the very first time two astronauts have worked at a Space Station outside of China, accomplishing country’s space program history’s second spacewalk.
On Saturday (July 3) at 8:11 p.m. EDT, Tang Hongbo and Liu Boming started an extravehicular activity which lasted for six-hour and 46-minute (EVA). Liu exited the Tianhe core module of the Space Station first followed by Tang after approximately three hours.
The two Shenzhou 12 crewmates wearing advanced Chinese Feitian spacesuits equipped the Space Station with equipment to assist future activities.
Liu earlier started working alone on the robotic arm situated at the end of the Space Station and of about 10-meter long (33-foot). He attached a foot restraint and platform to it and also mounted the arm on his own. Nie Haisheng, Shenzhou 12 commander then ran some tests to check the arm’s controls, adjusting Liu’s position from inside the Tianhe module.
Tang, hitched to the handrails moving along the outside of the Space Station then joined Liu to extend the panoramic camera. After that they started working together on installing other EVA equipment with robotic arm to assist.
At the end of the EVA, China’s Manned Space Agency made an announcement that after 7 hours of EVA, the Shenzhou 12 crewmates finished all the planned operations during the spacewalk by working strongly collectively fruitfully.
On Sunday July 4, 2021, Tang and Liu finished the spacewalk at 2:57 a.m. EDT. This Shenzhou 12 mission was launched on June 16, 2021 carrying astronauts Tang, Liu and Nie and is anticipated to last for three months.