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They carried out their first extravehicular activities during the construction of the country's space station on July 4.
The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) informed that astronauts Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming had both slipped out of the space station core module Tianhe by 10:12 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Friday to conduct extravehicular activities (EVAs) for a second time.
Nie opened the hatch of Tianhe's node cabin at 8:38 a.m., the CMSA said. Donning Feitian, new-generation homemade extravehicular mobility unit spacesuits that literally means "flying to space," the two astronauts have completed installing the foot restraints and extravehicular working platform on the mechanical arm.
They will continue to work together to install other relevant extravehicular equipment with the aid of the mechanical arm, it said. Astronaut Tang Hongbo has been staying inside Tianhe in cooperation with Nie and Liu for their EVAs.
The three astronauts were sent into space aboard the Shenzhou-12 spaceship on June 17. Liu and Tang completed the first EVAs during the construction of the country's space station on July 4.
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The space station Tianhe station operates in the low-Earth orbit at an altitude from 340 km to 450 km. It has a designed lifespan of 10 years, but experts believe it could last more than 15 years with appropriate maintenance and repairs.
Tianhe will help China's aerospace engineers carry out the verification of key technologies, including flexible solar wings, in-orbit assembly and maintenance, and above all a new life support system.
This station is also expected to contribute to the peaceful development and utilization of space resources through international cooperation, as well as to enrich technologies and experience for China's future explorations into deeper space.