China is quietly working in orbit. The next step in the Heavenly Palace

China is quietly working in orbit.  The next step in the Heavenly Palace

Chinese astronauts are ready for the first spacewalk within the Tiangong station under construction. A national space installation called the Heavenly Palace has been quietly building in orbit for some time now.

China appears to be deliberately not paying much media attention to the Tiangong space station under construction, while moving quickly on the project's completion schedule. Now, however, the domestic media has revealed the secret to the world.

First spacewalk on Tiangong

The Middle Kingdom's public news agencies reported that Chinese astronauts who were part of the Shenzhou XV mission are currently aboard the Tiangong station and preparing for the first spacewalk in the installation's history. The mission is expected to take place “in the coming days.”

“Tiangong Station is in stable condition. All elements needed for the mission, apart from the installation, have already been properly placed. The 'chasing our dream' team is ready for the first spacewalk,” said the Chinese space agency.

Although few details of the upcoming mission have been revealed, sources close to the Tiangong project say additional equipment will be installed on the station's skin. This will be handled by two astronauts from a three-person crew.

Spacewalk in the Heavenly Palace – final preparations

In a brief statement, the China Manned Space Agency confirmed that mission captain Fei Junlong and two crew members – Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu – have spent more than 70 days in orbit so far, but are feeling well and their morale is high ahead of the spacewalk.

– Spacewalking is never easy. It requires considerable courage, great energy and high skills. However, I am sure that after years of preparation, our astronauts will carry it out perfectly, said Pang Zhihao, retired scientist of the China Academy of Space Technology.

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