atgamesarcade|China Focus: Major records of China's space station spacewalks

super2024-07-04 23:07:499Academia

BEIJINGatgamesarcade, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Photos of Shenzhou-18 crew member Li Cong wearing a white spacesuit while performing a spacewalk on Wednesday have attracted wide media coverage. Although extravehicular activities (EVAs) have become routine for Chinese space station taikonauts over the past three years, it is still an exhilarating experience for readers to see the young space flyer against the magnificent backdrop of Earth.

The recent spacewalk is Li's first, and it also marks the 16th at the Chinese space station since the first crew entered the enormous orbiting spacecraft Tiangong in 2021. According to data released by the China Manned Space Agency on Thursday, a total of 17 space station taikonauts have conducted spacewalks so far.

Here's a look at some records about the spacewalks during the seven crew missions in the past three years.

The first space station spacewalk, which lasted about seven hours, was conducted by the Shenzhou-12 taikonauts Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo on July 4, 2021. Before constructing the Tiangong space station, China had conducted only one spacewalk during the three-day Shenzhou-7 spaceflight in 2008.

atgamesarcade|China Focus: Major records of China's space station spacewalks

The Shenzhou-13 crew, like its predecessors, also conducted two spacewalks during its six-month journey in orbit. But it made history by including the first female Chinese spacewalker Wang Yaping. The taikonaut with a ponytail and soft-spoken voice is also known as the "space teacher" after giving a live video lecture to students during her first space mission in 2013.

Dubbed "the busiest space crew" by Chinese netizens, the Shenzhou-14 completed three spacewalks. Their first one was particularly remarkable as they became the first crew to exit from the Wentian lab module instead of the core module, as previous crews did. Additionally, just 16 days later, they made their second spacewalk, setting a record for the shortest duration between two EVAs.

The Shenzhou-15 crew performed four spacewalks in their six-month mission since the all-men trio was launched into space in November 2022, setting a domestic record for the most spacewalks by a single crew.

Compared to previous crews, the Shenzhou-16 comprised a diverse trio of male taikonauts from different career backgrounds, including an aircraft pilot, a flight engineer and a payload specialist. During its five-month stay in space, the crew only performed one EVA, during which the crew commander, Jing Haipeng, also a four-time space flyer, finally realized his dream of conducting a spacewalk.

The Shenzhou-17 crew conducted two EVAs, with the second marking a milestone as it was the first time Chinese spacewalkers completed maintenance tasks.

The longest spacewalk was conducted by the Shenzhou-18 crew, who was launched to Tiangong in late April. Commander Ye Guangfu and crew member Li Guangsu spent about 8.5 hours working outside the space station on May 28, longer than any previous Chinese spacewalk.

According to the Chinese space agency, the Shenzhou-18 trio has completed one-third of their six-month space journey and is scheduled to carry out a large number of in-orbit scientific experiments and technological tests.

The youngest-ever crew for the orbiting Chinese space station may have the opportunity to conduct additional spacewalks, achieving even more remarkable milestones in history.

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