BEIJING: Two Chinese astronauts went on a spacewalk Saturday (Sep 17) from a new space station that is due to be completed later this year.
Cai Xuzhe and Chen Dong installed pumps, a handle to open the hatch door from outside in an emergency, and a foot-stop to fix an astronaut’s feet to a robotic arm, state media said.
China is building its own space station after being excluded by the US from the International Space Station because its military runs the country’s space programme. American officials see a host of strategic challenges from China’s space ambitions, in an echo of the US-Soviet rivalry that prompted the race to the moon in the 1960s.
The latest spacewalk was the second during a six-month mission that will oversee the completion of the space station. The first of two laboratories, a 23-ton module, was added to the station in July and the other is to be sent up later this year.