Chinese astronauts Liu Boming and Nie Haisheng went on the second Shenzhou-12 spacewalk to work on a robotic arm space station. According to China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), Shenzhou-12 mission commander Nie unlocked the way of the Tianhe module at 8:38 p.m. Eastern on August 19 to begin a scheduled near 7-hour extravehicular excursion.
The pair finished setting up foot safeguards as well as an extravehicular operating platform to the huge robotic arm while wearing second-generation Feitian extravehicular mobility suits. The EVA was streamed live by Chinese media sources. Then, tang Hongbo, an astronaut from China, flew aboard Tianhe, the 14.2-meter-diameter, 6.6-meter-long space station core module deployed on April 28.
In readiness for arrival of two additional modules in 2022, the EVA also featured work on the panoramic camera, installing a toolbox, attaching a pump unit for Tianhe thermal control system, as well as other apparatus. The EVA has finished an hour ahead of time at 2:33 a.m. on Friday. Since June 17, the Shenzhou-12 crew has been on board Tianhe. They should return to the Earth within one month, ahead of the Tianzhou-3 cargo supply mission’s arrival. Liu Bomng and Tang Hongbo completed the first Shenzhou-12 spacewalk on July 3.
In anticipation of future missions, the astronauts have engaged in a variety of activities and experiments. Recent activity includes installing a medical sample refrigeration unit, installing a space centrifuge, blood sampling, activating the magnetic levitation experiment, as well as evaluating a harmful trace gas removal subsystem.
The Long March 7 rocket that will carry Tianzhou-3 landed at the Wenchang spaceport early this month, with a launch date of September 20. Tianzhou-3 will transport supplies for the crewed Shenzhou-13 mission scheduled for October. Shenzhou-13 is being prepared in Jiuquan, northeast China, where Long March 2F rocket is already prepared in advance if an emergency deployment to Tianhe is required.
Tianzhou-2, which brought supplies to the Tianhe for Shenzhou-12, will likely stay docked to core module after Shenzhou-12 has deorbited. It will next undock from Tianhe’s aft port and the dock with a forward docking port, undertaking propellant transfer testing. The Tianzhou-2, which has a lift-off mass of 13,000 kg, will later be used as a trial unit for a robotic arm that will move modules during space station construction. In 2022, two experiment-hosting modules that were named Mengtian and Wentian will join Tianhe in orbit.
CMSA provided orbital data for Tianhe a day before the spacewalk, which was 379.7 by 396.85 kms with an incline of 41.35 degrees and a pace of 7.68 kilometres for every second. Teams on the ground are evaluating the space environment. They are ready to undertake collision avoidance measures, according to the deputy commander in charge of the Shenzhou-12 program at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, Yang Yanbo.