Shenzhou taikonauts complete second spacewalk

Taikonauts who are working on the nation's first space station have taken part in the second spacewalk of their mission since arriving on the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft in October, official media has reported.

Broadcaster CCTV reported that Ye Guangfu opened the airlock at 6.44pm on Sunday, and was followed out by Zhai Zhigang, while the first woman aboard the Tiangong space station, Wang Yaping assisted her crewmates from inside the core module.

The team performed various extravehicular activities including lifting a panoramic camera outside the station.

Ye completed most of the work using a robotic arm, while Zhai was responsible for observing and guiding his efforts.

In their first spacewalk on November 7, Shenzhou-13 astronauts Zhai and Wang performed the work with Ye staying inside the core module.

The three-member crew arrived on October 6 and are coming up to the half way point in their six-month mission, the nation's longest manned space venture.

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Shenzhou-13 is the second of four crewed missions needed to complete the space station by the end of 2022. During the first crewed mission that concluded in September, three other astronauts stayed on Tianhe for 90 days.

Most of their work has been on preparing the main Tianhe module for the arrival of two additional modules named Mengtian and Wentian ahead of completion by the end of next year.

As well as working on the space station, the crew's mission has had an educational dimension. On December 9, pupils from schools in five cities, including Hong Kong and Macau, where able to put questions to the astronauts.

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