Tiangong's presence will rival the International Space Station (ISS) when it comes to space exploration, and advance research in almost zero gravity. Also, the crew will have access to a robotic arm which will be useful for repairing satellites and securing objects in outer space.
For many years, the ISS was the only space station that offered a window to space. Now, the Chinese rival will offer a lot more options related to off-world activities, as more modules will be added by 2022.
Astronauts Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo went outside the Tianhe central module last Sunday. Their tasks were to position a camera and trying out the controversial robotic are mentioned by western critics.
A new day in space
In a footage taken by one the astronauts, Liu said that it was beautiful in space, reported the Daily Mail.
On June 17, 2021, from the Jiuquan launch center that's located in the Gobi desert, west China, they were sent up via the Long March-2F rocket. On Thursday, they docked with the station about seven hours later.
The use of the robotic to manipulate and connect the next two modules is coming up. They will be used as a lab for zero-gravity experiments, soon to fly up in 2022.
This station is a part of China's space program that will utilize it as a jump point to send a Mars rover and moon probes when the Tiangong Station executes the first Dual spacewalk.
A total of three crew will be on the Tiangong for three months, though it is designed for six months maximum for living onboard.
Another spacewalk is scheduled until the new modules are ready to be sent up, fix life support, and vital systems for the next group.
The first spacewalk was a success and the pair got back to the main module, said the Chinese space agency, noted the Hindustan Times.
Work done on the exterior of Tianhe
What they were doing is the installation of foot stops for the manipulator's arm, and its support, including relevant assembly work, added the space agency, cited the Dawn.
All the steps were taken by the crew to prepare for the spacewalk, including wearing space suits and physical checks during fitness sessions. Both were seen exiting the airlock and leaving one by one, testing the newly develop environmental suits for space weighing 286 lbs.
Monitoring their progress outside was the mission commander Nie Haisheng, from the air force on his third sortie in space.
It was the first time from 2008 when Chinese astronauts had gone out into space. It was Zhai Zhigang, who did a spacewalk as the third nation, after Russia and the US.
Accomplishing this technical feat in almost five years is prestige for China that took the west by surprise. In 2021, it will be the first hundred years of Communist rule in China.
A total of 6000 hours of rehearsal for the epic spacewalk was done on the earth to perfect it. Another 11 launches are planned till December 2021, with three more sorties for Chinese astronauts coming.
The Tiangong Station executes the first Dual spacewalk to begin work on the crucial jumping point for Chinese ambitions in space should be supported by all nations not competed against.