Two astronauts conducted the first spacewalk outside China’s new space orbit center. They installed cameras and other equipment outside the center using a 50-foot-long robotic part. Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo were shown by the state TV channel coming out of the airlock (a small chamber with tightly closed doors on all sides to pass through to another area of varying air pressure).
The third crew member, Commander Nie Haisheng, remained aboard the spacecraft. Spacewalk is the physical activity performed in space by exiting a spacecraft. The Chinese space agency said Liu and Tang spent about seven hours outside the center.
These astronauts reached China’s third orbital center on June 17 for a three-month mission. It is part of an ambitious space program that sent a robotic rover to Mars in May. His mission is happening at a time when the ruling Communist Party is celebrating 100 years of its establishment.
The center’s first module, Tianhe or Heavenly Harmony, was launched on 29 April. After this an automated spacecraft arrived with food and fuel. Liu, Nie and Tang arrived on June 17 aboard the Shenzhou capsule (Yan).
On Sunday, Liu rested his feet on the ends of the remotely controlled part so that he didn’t move, and he used an electric drill and other tools to set up the equipment. China’s space agency is planning 11 launches by the end of next year to send two more modules to the 70-ton center. Liu, Nie and Tang are all military pilots.