Two astronauts carried out the first spacewalk outside of China’s new space orbit center. They installed cameras and other equipment outside the center using a 50-foot-long robotic room. Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo were shown by the State TV station coming out of the airlock (a small room with doors tightly closed on all sides to pass into 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 when exiting a spaceship. The Chinese space agency said Liu and Tang spent around 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. Its mission takes place at a time when the ruling Communist Party is celebrating 100 years of its creation.
The centre’s first module, Tianhe or Heavenly Harmony, launched on April 29. After that, an automated spaceship arrived with food and fuel. Liu, Nie and Tang arrived on June 17 aboard the Shenzhou (Yan) capsule.
On Sunday, Liu put his feet on the ends of the remote control part so that he would not move, and he used an electric drill and other tools to install the equipment. The Chinese space agency plans 11 launches by the end of next year to send two additional modules to the 70-ton center. Liu, Nie, and Tang are all military pilots.