China's Shenzhou-13 taikonauts complete second extravehicular mission
Taikonauts Zhai Zhigang and Ye Guangfu have completed their extravehicular activities (EVAs) and returned to the space station core module Tianhe, the China Manned Space Agency said on early hours of Monday.
This was the fourth time that the taikonauts conducted EVAs during the construction of the country's space station and the second by the Shenzhou-13 crew. The CMSA has declared the EVAs a complete success.
The CMSA said the pair returned to the core module at 0:55am (Beijing Time) after about six hours of EVAs. They completed tasks such as lifting panoramic camera and testing goods transport.
The EVAs further tested the function and performance of the core module airlock cabin, extravehicular suit and mechanical arm, and assessed the technologies related to EVAs, the coordination of taikonauts inside and outside the space station, and the coordination between space and Earth.
The Shenzhou-13 crew will continue their in-orbit work to welcome the coming new year. This is also the first time that Chinese taikonauts welcome a new year in space, the CMSA added.
The CMSA noted that extravehicular operations are becoming the normal work of the space station flight missions. Chinese taikonauts will carry out more EVAs which are more complex to provide strong support for the successful completion of the construction and the stable operation of the space station.
China launched the Shenzhou-13 spaceship on October 16, sending three taikonauts on a six-month mission to construct its space station. The crew conducted the first EVAs on November 7.