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Shenzhou XVII successfully completes second spacewalk

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2024-03-02 14:18
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The Shenzhou XVII crew conducted their second spacewalk outside the Tiangong space station on Saturday, completing the first repair operation by Chinese astronauts, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The agency said in a news release that mission commander Senior Colonel Tang Hongbo and crew member Lieutenant Colonel Jiang Xinlin returned to the Wentian science module at 1:32 pm after floating for nearly eight hours outside the colossal orbital station. The third crew member, Lieutenant Colonel Tang Shengjie, stayed inside Tiangong to provide support, it said.

With the cooperation and assistance from ground controllers and robotic arms, the team completed all of their given tasks, the agency said.

It was the 15th spacewalk ever conducted by Chinese astronauts.

During the spacewalk, Tang Hongbo and Jiang repaired damaged parts on the Tianhe core module's solar wings that were caused by tiny space debris' impact. After their repair, the wings resumed normal operation, according to the release.

The duo also checked the condition of the space station's external structure, it noted.

This spacewalk was the third for Tang Hongbo, who is also the first person to return to the Tiangong space station.

The Shenzhou XVII 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.

The crew performed their first spacewalk on Dec 21, completing a host of tasks such as making a repair test.

They are 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.

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