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Wang Yaping scripts history as she becomes first Chinese woman astronaut to walk in space

According to the China Manned Space Agency, this is the first spacewalk involving a female astronaut in Chinese history.

Wang Yaping scripts history as she becomes first Chinese woman astronaut to walk in space gcw
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Beijing, First Published Nov 8, 2021, 3:22 PM IST
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Wang Yaping became the first Chinese woman astronaut to walk in space when she exited the under-construction space station and participated in extravehicular exercises for more than six hours alongside her male colleague Zhai Zhigang to state media here. According to Xinhua, the two ventured out of the Tianhe space station core module in the early hours of Monday and spent 6.5 hours on the spacewalk before successfully returning to the module. According to the China Manned Space Agency, this is the first spacewalk involving a female astronaut in Chinese history.

On October 16, China launched the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft, carrying three astronauts on a six-month trip to the under-construction space station, which was anticipated to be ready by next year. Wang, a Shandong native and mother of a five-year-old child, joined the People's Liberation Army Air Force in August 1997 and served as a deputy squadron commander until entering the PLA Astronaut Division's second batch of astronauts in May 2010. She was part of the backup crew for the ninth manned Shenzhou mission series in March 2012, and she participated in the tenth Shenzhou series, which lasted approximately 15 days, in June 2013. She is only the second Chinese woman to fly in space.

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During the Shenzhou 10th flight, Wang delivered China's first space-based lecture to more than 60 million Chinese students at 80,000 schools around the country from within the Tiangong experimental module. She was selected for the present manned space mission in December 2019. While Wang and Zhai carried out the extravehicular operations, including the Monday spacewalk, the third member of the crew, Ye Guangfu, provided support within the module.

The duo returned to the core module about 1:16 AM (Beijing Time) after successfully completing their job in around 6.5 hours, according to the release. According to Xinhua, the mission also evaluated the functionalities of the indigenously designed new-generation extravehicular spacesuits, the coordination between the astronauts and the mechanical arm, and the dependability and safety of EVA-related supporting equipment. On October 16, the three were launched into orbit for a six-month mission at the space station, the longest human mission in China's history.

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This is China's second manned voyage to the space station, which is currently under construction. Previously, three additional astronauts, Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo, returned to Earth on September 17 following a successful three-month stay in the space station module. They completed a variety of activities to help develop it. China is building the space station in a series of space missions, one of which is the cargo ship docked with the Tianhe core cabin module.

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