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Shenzhou XVII mission crew to carry out second spacewalk

By ZHAO LEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-03-01 20:14

Lieutenant Colonel Tang Shengjie, a crew member of the Shenzhou XVII mission, exits the Tiangong space station before conducting a spacewalk and completing a host of tasks with Tang Hongbo, mission commander. XU BU/FOR CHINA DAILY

The Shenzhou XVII mission crew will soon carry out their second spacewalk, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The agency said in a news release on Friday afternoon that the Shenzhou XVII trio — mission commander Senior Colonel Tang Hongbo, Lieutenant Colonel Tang Shengjie and Lieutenant Colonel Jiang Xinlin — have been in good condition and have been ready for their second spacewalk that will take place in coming days.

The astronauts, who are the sixth inhabitants of the Tiangong space station, arrived at the colossal flying outpost on Oct 26 to take over from their peers in the Shenzhou XVI flight.

After their arrival, the astronauts have examined and maintained equipment, carried out exercises on robotic arms manipulation and emergency evacuation, deployed payloads outside the station, and conducted a host of science and technology tasks, according to the release.

The crew performed their first spacewalk on Dec 21, completing a host of tasks such as making an experimental repair operation on the Tianhe core module's solar wings. That was the 14th spacewalk made by Chinese astronauts.

The Shenzhou XVII team is scheduled to wrap up their spaceflight at the end of April and will hand over the Tiangong to the Shenzhou XVIII crew before flying back to Earth.

Orbiting about 400 kilometers above the ground, the Tiangong currently consists of three major components — the Tianhe core module and Wentian and Mengtian science lab modules — and is connected with two visiting craft, the Shenzhou XVII crew ships and the Tianzhou 6 cargo ship.

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