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Home SCIENCE Chinese astronauts conduct spacewalk from new station

Chinese astronauts conduct spacewalk from new station

BEIJING (AP) — Two Chinese astronauts spacewalked Saturday from a new space station due to be completed this year.

The bombs installed by Cai Xuzhe and Chen Dong, a handle to open the hatch door from the outside in an emergency and a stopper to attach an astronaut’s feet to a robotic arm, state media said.

China is building its own space station after the United States barred it from the International Space Station because its military runs the country’s space program. US officials see a number of strategic challenges to China’s space ambitions, in an echo of the US-Soviet rivalry that fueled the race to the moon in the 1960s.

The latest spacewalk was the second during a six-month mission that will oversee the completion of the space station. The first of two labs, a 23-ton module, was added to the station in July and the other will ship later this year.

The third crew member, Liu Yang, supported the other two from inside during the spacewalk. Liu and Chen conducted the first spacewalk about two weeks ago.

They will be joined by three other astronauts near the end of their mission in what will be the first time the station has had six people on board.

China became the third nation to send a person into space in 2003, after the former Soviet Union and the United States. It has sent rovers to the Moon and Mars and brought lunar samples back to Earth.


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