BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Shenzhou-15 taikonauts on board the orbiting Chinese Tiangong space station completed their first spacewalk at 12:16 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Friday, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).
Fei Junlong and Zhang Lu, together with Deng Qingming who worked inside the space station to support his crewmates, collaborated to pull off all set tasks. Fei and Zhang have since safely returned to the Wentian lab module.
During the extravehicular activities (EVAs) lasting about seven hours, they completed several tasks, including the installation of the extension pumps outside the Mengtian lab module.
These were the first EVAs conducted after the completion of the Chinese space station. The Shenzhou-15 crew, as planned, will carry out several spacewalks in the future, said the agency.
Some payloads, including the energy particle detector and plasma in-situ imaging detector, have been installed on the extravehicular platform earlier.
The installation process for extravehicular payloads, and the functional performance of the space station cargo airlock cabin and transfer mechanism, have all been fully verified.
The cargo exit and installation work was done with coordinated movements of the payload transfer mechanism, cargo airlock cabin, inner and outer hatch doors as well as mechanical arms, operated by taikonauts in orbit or the supporting team on the ground.
This technology will significantly improve the efficiency of cargo exchange inside and outside the cabin and reduce taikonauts' extravehicular activities and workload, the agency said.
More cargo exit and installation work has been planned. ■