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Shenzhou XV mission complete third spacewalk

By ZHAO LEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-03-31 21:51

The Shenzhou XV mission crew members carried out their third spacewalk on Thursday, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The agency said in a news release on Friday evening that mission commander Major General Fei Junlong and Senior Colonel Zhang Lu completed the spacewalk and then returned to the Wentian science module. The third crew member, Senior Colonel Deng Qingming, stayed inside the Tiangong space station to provide support, it said.

The agency did not give information about when the spacewalk took place or for how long, nor did it discuss the specific tasks performed by the crew.

It was the 11th spacewalk conducted by the Chinese astronauts.

The agency said the spacewalk has become a routine task for Chinese astronauts and that it will be conducted on a regular basis in accordance with mission needs.

By now, science and technology projects on board the Tiangong station have been successful and have made remarkable achievements, it noted.

Fei's team arrived at the station on Nov 30. The astronauts are expected to remain until May, when the Shenzhou XVI crew is scheduled to take over.

As of Friday afternoon, the three astronauts had lived inside the space station for 121 days.

The Shenzhou XV team is tasked with carrying out several spacewalks to mount equipment outside the station, installing scientific cabinets and conducting scientific experiments and technological demonstrations.

As one of the largest and most sophisticated space-based structures humans have ever placed into Earth's orbit, Tiangong now consists of the Tianhe core module, the Wentian and Mengtian labs, the Shenzhou XV crew spacecraft and the Tianzhou 5 cargo ship.

The Tianzhou 6 cargo ship has been transported to the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province and is scheduled to be sent to dock with Tiangong in May, according to the agency.

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