Shenzhou-14 taikonauts begin third spacewalk mission, to last for 6.5 hours
Published: Nov 17, 2022 11:57 AM
Photo: screenshot of CCTV live coverage

Photo: screenshot of CCTV live coverage

Taikonauts of the Shenzhou-14 manned spaceflight mission crew are conducting their third spacewalk operation on Thursday, which marked the first extravehicular activities (EVA) after the China Space Station completed its T-shape basic structure assembly on November 3.

As of 11:16 am, taikonauts have successfully opened the airlock and the Shenzhou-14 mission commander Chen Dong first came out of the cabin. Chen will be followed by his fellow crewmember Cai Xudong for the Thursday spacewalk. Liu Yang, the only female crewmember, will be supporting them on the inside, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

During the Thursday operation, which is the seventh at the China Space Station executed by taikonauts, spacewalking taikonauts are expected to carry out works including the installation of connecting devices to bridge space station modules to facilitate future spacewalk missions and the elevation of the panorama camera on the Wentian lab module. 

The Global Times learned from mission insiders that the Thursday spacewalk will also mark a first in the use of the combination of the large and small robotic arms to support taikonauts activities all over the mega space station combination.

Having been connected at the ends, the combination of the large and small robotic arms could provide a larger operation range for taikonauts that extends to 15 meters, meaning it will be able to cover almost every corner of the space station combination, according to mission insiders. 

The second space station lab module Mengtian conducted successful transposition in orbit at 9:32 am on November 3, marking the completion of the China Space Station's T-shape basic structure assembly and a key step forward toward the completion of the space station.