First spacewalk of two taikonauts from the Chinese space station

Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo and Liu Boming work with a spacesuit at the Tianhe Central Module of the Chinese space station, in this still from a video released on June 23, 2021. The two astronauts made their first tandem excursion this Sunday to install equipment and perform safety drills.


Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

China is well on its way to conquering the skies.

For three weeks, three taikonauts - the name of Chinese astronauts - have been sleeping in a Chinese space station.

This is the first time that China has sent astronauts to space in five years, and on Sunday they carried out their first spacewalk.

A mission always dangerous and therefore closely scrutinized.


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With our correspondent in Shanghai,

Simon Leplâtre

There were a lot of firsts for this space mission, and everything went according to plan.

It was the first spacewalk for Chinese astronauts in 13 years and the first use of new spacesuits that allow up to 8 hours of straight time in space.

And then, it was also a first for Tang Hongbo, who, at 45, is the youngest of the three taikonauts in orbit, and is carrying out his first mission in space.

He went out on Sunday afternoon with his colleague Liu Boming to set up equipment and perform safety drills.

Astronauts have their work cut out for them as the construction of the Chinese space station is expected to take another year, or at least four teams at the rate of three months per mission.


Chinese space program

is completely independent because the country is excluded from the international station by the United States.

Each mission stirs up patriotism and fascinates the Chinese.

This Sunday, the Taikonauts' spacewalk was one of the most talked about topics on Weibo with almost 300 million views.

To read also: The first taikonauts arrive in the new Chinese space station


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  • China

  • Space