Screen image captured at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Sept 2, 2022 shows China's Shenzhou XIV taikonaut Liu Yang (left) returning to the space station lab module Wentian after completing extravehicular activities. (LI JIE / XINHUA)
BEIJING – Crew members on the Shenzhou XIV mission stepped out of their spacecraft for the second spacewalk on Saturday afternoon, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
The agency said in a brief news release that Senior Colonel Cai Xuzhe opened an extravehicular activity hatch on the Tiangong space station at 1:35 pm and then floated out of the station. He was followed by mission commander Senior Colonel Chen Dong.
Their female peer —Senior Colonel Liu Yang – stayed inside the station to support their operations, the release said.
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Senior Colonel Cai Xuzhe opened an extravehicular activity hatch on the Tiangong space station at 1:35 pm and then floated out of the station. He was followed by mission commander Senior Colonel Chen Dong
Cai and Chen are tasked with installing an extended pump set during the spacewalk that will last several hours, mission planners said.
Chen and Liu conducted the Shenzhou XIV mission's first spacewalk on Sept 1, working six hours outside the Tiangong station. Cai stayed inside the station to provide technical assistance.
That was the first time for astronauts to use the Wentian space lab's airlock cabin to carry out a spacewalk.
Crew members of previous flights used the airlock cabin on the Tianhe core module to support spacewalks.
Chen and his teammates have spent 103 days in orbit and have conducted a series of tasks such installing new device outside the station, testing equipment and conducting scientific experiments, said the space agency.
The crew arrived at Tiangong on the evening of June 5, several hours after their spacecraft was launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern Gobi Desert. They are scheduled to continue flying with the station until early December, when the Shenzhou XV crew will take over.
By now, three groups of Chinese astronauts have lived and worked inside the Tiangong space station, which now consists of the Tianhe module, the Wentian lab, the Shenzhou XIV spacecraft, and the Tianzhou 4 cargo ship.
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