Two astronauts aboard China’s Tiangong space station completed a six-hour spacewalk on Friday, according to the national human spaceflight agency.
The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) reported that astronauts Chen Dong and Liu Yang returned to their cabin module in the early hours of Friday, declaring the first spacewalk of the six-month Shenzhou-14 mission a “complete success.”
China’s heavily publicized space program has already resulted in the country landing a rover on Mars and sending probes to the Moon.
Images from state media showed the pair opening the hatch of the module and maneuvering equipment with a robotic arm against the rotating earth in the background.
“Hello there, everyone. I’ve completed the module. I’m in a good mood, “In a video, Chen, a former military pilot, stated.
According to the official news agency Xinhua, the pair completed a series of tasks, including installing external parts to the module and testing its functions, while the remaining astronaut Cai Xuzhe coordinated from inside the cabin.
On June 5, China launched the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts to the completion of Tiangong’s construction.
The space station dubbed the “heavenly palace,” is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.
Chen, Liu, and Cai are the second crew to spend six months aboard Tiangong, with the first returning to Earth in April after 183 days on the space station.
Tiangong’s core module was launched into orbit early last year and is expected to last at least a decade.
The finished station will resemble the Soviet Mir station, which orbited Earth from the 1980s to 2001.