First 6.5-hour space walk by a Chinese astronaut

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Wang Yaping became the first Chinese astronaut to take a spacewalk last night (7.11) with her colleague Zhai Zhigang outside the assembled new space station Tiangong, China.

The two astronauts of the three-member crew of the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft, which is moored at the Tiangong station under construction, successfully completed a 6.5 hour space walk, reports APE-MPE, citing CNN and Space.com. This is the first time Chinese astronauts have left their boat since October 16, when they arrived at the station.

Yaping is the second Chinese woman in space, after Liu Yang, the first woman to join the Shenzhou-9 mission in 2012. Wang was in space for the first time in 2013 with the Shenzhou-10 mission, but then had not taken a space walk.

In total only 15 women – most of them American women NASA – have “walked” in space since Soviet cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya made her debut. 13 and the one who accompanied Wang on her first spacewalk.

The Shenzhou-13 crew will perform two more space walks during his six-month stay at the Chinese station, longer than any other previous Chinese manned mission. The station is expected to be fully manned and operational by December 2022.

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