Shenzhou XV mission crew members set China record

By ZHAO LEI | | Updated: 2023-04-16 17:35
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The Shenzhou XV taikonauts on board the orbiting Chinese Tiangong space station carry out their fourth spacewalk on April 15, 2023. [Photo/]

The Shenzhou XV mission crew members carried out their fourth spacewalk on Saturday, topping previous crews, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The agency said in a news release on Sunday afternoon 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.

During their previous spacewalks, the Shenzhou XV team mounted equipment needed by extravehicular scientific experiments and technological demonstrations.

Agency officials have said that spacewalks have become a routine task for Chinese astronauts and that it will be conducted on a regular basis in accordance with mission needs.

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 Sunday afternoon, the three astronauts had lived inside the space station for 137 days.

In another development, the Long March 7 carrier rocket tasked with lifting the Tianzhou 6 cargo spaceship has arrived at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province on Thursday.

The rocket and the cargo ship will undergo final checks at the center, the agency said.

The Tianzhou 6 is scheduled to be sent to dock with Tiangong in May.

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