Shenzhou-14 taikonauts conduct science experiments in orbit and prepare for spacewalks
BEIJING, July 6 (Xinhua) — Scientific efforts aboard China’s space station are expected to bear fruit, as Shenzhou-14 astronauts have spent more time on microgravity experiments on the Tianhe orbiting core module since entering a month ago.
The Chinese space station is designed to be a multi-purpose space laboratory, capable of accommodating 25 experiment cabinets for scientific exploration. China’s manned space agency has released video updates from space, which show the station’s central module is packed with research equipment, and on-orbit experiments cover a range of disciplines, including microbiology , physics and medicine.
The three-member crew carried out microbial testing in water, air and surface samples, aimed at ensuring they can stay safe and comfortable during the six-month spaceflight. They also installed a carbon dioxide reduction and regeneration device in their orbiting home.
In the latest update, the trio were seen undergoing eye exams and medical aid training.
Commander Chen Dong was spotted testing out a spacesuit, preparing for the upcoming spacewalks of the Wentian lab module, which is expected to launch this month.
The experiment cabinets installed on Wentian will allow taikonauts to perform experiments on molecules, cells, tissues and organs using various online detection methods, such as visible light, fluorescence or microscopic imaging. .
However, not everything was devoted to the experiments and the construction of the space station for the trio. They also maintain a decent work-life balance in orbit.
Recent videos have captured them working out on treadmills and exercise bikes to reduce the impact of microgravity exposure on the body.
Taikonaut Liu Yang, wearing a light pink vest, was seen folding colorful paper stars for hobbies and collecting them in a glass bottle. The video has attracted more than 1.2 million views since China’s space agency shared it on microblogging site Sina Weibo on Tuesday.
Some media reports linked Liu’s hobby activity to what she said before the mission: “writing blessings to her children ‘in the stars’ during space travel.”
“I expect her to bring back a bottle full of stars,” one social media user commented.
Wu Dawei, deputy chief designer of the Chinese manned space program’s taikonaut system, hailed the crew of Shenzhou-14 as “a young, dynamic and rigorous team with good physical, operational and psychological conditions”.
China launched the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft on June 5, sending three astronauts Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe to its space station for a six-month mission. While in orbit, the crew will see two laboratory modules, the Tianzhou-5 cargo spacecraft and the Shenzhou-15 crewed spacecraft, dock with the space station’s central module.