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Taikonauts on board China’s space station to conduct first extravehicular activities 

The Shenzhou-16 crew members, who are currently on board China’s space station, will conduct their first extravehicular activities (EVAs) within the next few days, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) announced on Wednesday.

The Shenzhou-16 crew is a new combination composed of three types of astronauts — commander, flight engineer, and payload expert. They have been in orbit for 51 days since they entered the space station combination on May 30.

The crew has carried out a series of space science experiments in fields like life ecology and micro-gravity environment physics and completed the installation of the device for space-radiation biology exposure experiments on the Mengtian lab module as well as the gas cylinders of the space station electric propulsion system.

According to the CMSA, the radiation biology exposure experiment is significant for ensuring astronauts’ long-term healthy stay in orbit and promoting China’s crewed lunar landing plans.

With the installation of gas cylinders in the electric propulsion system in orbit, it is the first time using the “gas exchange” method to complete the replenishment of electric propellants for long-term orbit maintenance of the space station and make its operation more economical and efficient.

The CMSA said the Shenzhou-16 crew is in good condition, and the space station combination is running stably. 

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