Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Shenzhou-18 Crew Completes First Spacewalk | China Space Station

Shenzhou-18 Crew Completes First Spacewalk | China Space Station

The Shenzhou-18 crew on board China's orbiting space station completed their first spacewalk at 18:58 Beijing time on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). 

During the 8.5-hour extravehicular activity (EVA), astronauts Ye Guangfu, Li Cong and Li Guangsu successfully installed space debris protection devices, among other tasks.

Ye and Li Guangsu were assigned to the spacewalk and safely returned to the station's Wentian lab module after the venture.

This EVA marked the 15th spacewalk by Chinese astronauts during the space station's application and development phase. It was the first spacewalk for Li Guangsu, who operated the station's robotic arms during the walk, and the second for Ye following his initial outing on the Shenzhou-13 mission.

At 10:35, Ye and Li Guangsu opened the hatch door. Ye then mounted the robotic arm and, with Li Guangsu's assistance, received the equipment and was transported to the worksite to install items such as power protection racks.

By 12:20, Li Guangsu had exited the cabin to join Ye in inspecting the station's exterior equipment and facilities.

"Since Shenzhou 17, we have been carrying out long-term extravehicular maintenance and inspection tasks. During this spacewalk, we addressed issues with the debris protection system by installing a protective panel, which will reduce the risk of collisions with debris and meteoroids for key equipment during long-term operations," said Li Xuedong, deputy chief designer of the space station system at the China Academy of Space Technology.

"This spacewalk involved many tasks, making it the most extensive inspection and photographic documentation conducted outside the cabin. Consequently, this spacewalk was also the longest in duration. The entire procedure was executed flawlessly, with the astronauts demonstrating exceptional precision and skill," said Zhang Wanxin, director of the Spacesuit Engineering Office and deputy chief designer of the Astronaut System at the China Astronaut Research and Training Center.

The Shenzhou-18 mission will continue with a series of scheduled space science experiments and technical tests. The crew will also undertake additional extravehicular activities and install payloads outside the space station, according to the CMSA. Shenzhou-18 represents the seventh crew of three astronauts to operate the China's Tiangong  space station.

Shenzhou-18 Crew:

Ye Guangfu (叶光富, commander)

Li Cong (李聪, mission specialist)

Li Guangsu (李广苏, mission specialist)

Video Credit: China National Space Administration (CNSA)

Duration: 1 minute, 41 seconds

Release Date: May 28, 2024

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