Astronaut Wang Yaping has made history by becoming the first Chinese woman to take a spacewalk.
Yaping spent more than six hours in space, outside the Tianhe module that is part of the new space station in the Asian country that is currently being assembled. During this period, she together with astronaut Zhai Zhigang installed equipment and carried out tests for the future operation of the station.
The six-hour spacewalk is part of the six-month stay of the astronaut trio consisting of the two mentioned and Ye Guangfu. The three have been in space since October 16 as part of the Shenzhou 13 mission.
Following this feat, Wang Yaping joins the group of women who have been on spacewalks since 1984 and started with Soviet astronaut Svetlana Savistkaya.
China expects its space station to be fully operational in 2023. For this, they have already launched various modules (Tianhe was only the first); Mengtian and Wentian will be the next to complement the entire station structure.
After the six-month mission is over, China will send more astronauts into space to complete the station and to do tests on what is necessary for survival, as well as experiments of various kinds, such as an assessment of the number of microbes in the water on board. of the Tianhe module.
China’s space station is just one step in the country’s large-scale plan, which aims to reach Mars in a not too distant time.