Digital Desk, Beijing. According to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), Wang Yaping has become the first Chinese female astronaut to perform a spacewalk outside the Tianhe Space Station module. Yaping, along with Zhai Zhigang and Ye Guangfu, who form the Shenzhou 13 crew, launched on October 15 to the Chinese space station to begin a six-month expedition to the orbital laboratory.
CMSA said the spacewalk is the first of the Shenzhou-13 mission and the third of its kind during the country’s space station construction period. It has verified the performance of China’s domestically developed spacesuits, the ability to work with the astronauts’ robotic arm, and the reliability and safety of the accessories.
As of 1.16 p.m. Monday, Shenzhou-13 members Zhai Zhigang and Wang Yaping returned safely to the Tianhe Space Station core module in China, the Global Times reported. Their spacewalk lasted for about 6.5 hours and both completed all the planned tasks. Together, Yaping and Xigang installed foot stoppers and a working platform in the first robotic arm. Before they were working together to install a suspension device and move the connectors to the robotic arm.
The CMSA said that the robotic arm has played an important supporting role in this process, the report said. Soon after exiting the cabin, Yaping returned to Earth and said she was feeling great, according to a video by the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center that went viral on Chinese social media on Sunday night. Will do spacewalks. Key objectives include installing an adapter that allows Tianhe’s larger arm to be connected to another, smaller arm that will be on a future module.
Of the 12 Chinese astronauts who have gone to space so far, only two are women. Yaping is the second Chinese woman to go into space on Shenzhou 10 in 2013, after Liu Yang on Shenzhou 9 in 2012. Yaping visited Tiangong 1, a space laboratory designed as a test bed for the much larger Tianhe module. During the mission, 41-year-old Taikonaut (a Chinese astronaut) also gave a lecture to school children from the classroom.
Wang is also known to have trained for the space station mission earlier this year. Wang was born in 1980 in Yantai, Shandong Province, East China. According to the CMSA website, he has been given the honorary title of Hero Astronaut. Shenzhou 13 will be the last mission to build a space station this year.