Shenzhou-13 crew member becomes first female Chinese astronaut to complete spacewalk

Shenzhou-13 crew member becomes first female Chinese astronaut to complete spacewalkShenzhou-13 crew member becomes first female Chinese astronaut to complete spacewalk
Ryan General
November 8, 2021
Wang Yaping has become the first female astronaut from China to walk in space.
Making history: Wang made her historic spacewalk from Sunday to early Monday morning during her team’s extravehicular activities at the Tiangong space station, CNN reported.
  • Wang is part of the three-member Shenzhou-13 crew, which arrived at the station on Oct. 16. 
  • Two crew members, including Wang, exited the station for the first time on Nov. 7 to install new exterior components and test the safety of their spacesuits and other equipment. 
  • Wang and astronaut Zhai Zhigang set up transfer connectors and a suspension device to the station’s robotic arm while teammate Ye Guangfu monitored the activity from inside the space station.
  • According to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), the team successfully completed the spacewalk, which lasted six and a half hours.
  • The team will conduct at least one or two more spacewalks during their six-month mission, which is reportedly the longest period Chinese astronauts have stayed in space.
  • The tests and modifications by the Shenzhou-13 align with the space agency’s December 2022 target to have the station fully operational.
  • Shenzhou-13’s mission comes after the success of another three-member Chinese crew that stayed at the station for three months and completed their mission in September. 
Eyes on Wang: Wang’s spacewalk has been widely celebrated in China, with state media highlighting her achievements and Chinese social media users sharing images and footage released by China’s flight control center.
  • In one viral clip, Wang is seen waving after stepping out of the space station cabin.
  • The Global Times noted that aside from Wang, there have only been 15 women who have walked in space, the majority of whom were American astronauts.
  • Yang Yuguang, vice chair of the Space Transportation Committee for International Astronautical Federation, commended Wang for her bravery that allowed her to become part of history. 
  • Another female Chinese trailblazer was Liu Yang, a crew member of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft flight who became the first Chinese woman in space in 2012.
Featured Image via CGTN (left) ShanghaiEye (Right)
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