Shenzhou-18 Crew Successfully Completes Historic Spacewalk

The Shenzhou-18 crew members onboard China’s orbiting space station achieved a significant milestone by completing their first spacewalk on Tuesday. Astronauts Ye Guangfu, Li Cong, and Li Guangsu ventured out into the vacuum of space at 6:58 p.m. (Beijing Time) to carry out a series of tasks, including the installation of space debris protection devices. This marks a new record for the longest single spacewalk by Chinese astronauts.

Ye Guangfu, who had previously undertaken an extravehicular activity during the Shenzhou-13 mission, along with Li Guangsu, safely returned to the Wentian lab module after completing their tasks. Li Guangsu, on the other hand, experienced his first spacewalk during this mission, adding to the historic nature of the event.

The crew’s mission will include various space science experiments, technical tests, and additional extravehicular activities, showcasing China’s commitment to advancing its capabilities in space exploration. The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) has highlighted the importance of these missions in furthering scientific research and technological development.

Chinese astronauts have a rich history of spacewalks, with a total of 16 EVAs successfully completed to date. Notable achievements include astronaut Zhai Zhigang’s historic spacewalk during the Shenzhou-7 mission in 2008 and the Shenzhou-15 crew’s record of four spacewalks during their mission.

The Shenzhou-18 crew’s successful spacewalk underscores China’s growing expertise in human spaceflight and its dedication to pushing the boundaries of space exploration. As they continue their mission aboard the orbiting space station, the world eagerly anticipates the groundbreaking discoveries and advancements that will result from their efforts.