China’s Shenzhou-15 Astronauts Conduct Classified Second Spacewalk

The Shenzhou-15 astronauts from China, Fei Junlong and Zhang Lu, have completed their second extravehicular exercise in the past several days. They did so by doing a spacewalk outside the Tiangong space station. But for the first time, China gave no prior notice or other information about the event. As a result of this, it raised questions about the lack of transparency around Its space endeavors.

The Chinese Human Spaceflight Agency, CMSA, only revealed that crewmate Deng Qingming from Tiangong and ground crews supported the spacewalk. Apart from this information, CMSA did not disclose any other information about it.

In contrast to earlier Tiangong EVAs, the spacewalk is being conducted in secrecy. CMSA had announced, albeit in general terms, that Tiangong EVAs operations will occur soon. EVA video has previously been made available by Chinese state media. Some experts have called for greater openness and transparency surrounding China’s crewed spaceflight efforts. The experts said that other space actors may find the lack of transparency to be problematic.

Ahead of the National People’s Congress, China’s annual parliamentary session, there is now a reorganization of key government roles. The National People’s Congress begins on Sunday, It’s probable that the secrecy surrounding the most recent spacewalk was motivated by sensitivity to impending changes. China’s human spaceflight activities are frequently closely kept secrets. In addition, even the identities of the crews for prospective missions aren’t made public until one day before launch. This is done at carefully planned press conferences.

China has begun the process of selecting the first foreign astronauts to journey to the space station. Also, it is getting ready to expand its Tiangong outpost. A fourth batch of astronaut candidates is currently being chosen in the nation. The most recent hires include engineers and payload specialists. China releases white papers every five years outlining its intentions and priorities for the years to come in the civilian sector.

China’s Zhurong rover on Mars was anticipated to start up again in December in Utopia Planitia. Its inactivity has been observed during the winter in the northern hemisphere. After the rover’s anticipated reactivation around the spring equinox, however, space officials have yet to issue an update on its conditionThe rover has been stationary for months, as evidenced by images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. In addition, it might have acquired a layer of Martian dust. This would have prevented Zhurong from producing enough heat or electricity.

Experts have called for greater openness and honesty about setbacks and unforeseen difficulties. This is a result of the lack of transparency surrounding China’s space efforts. China will need to increase transparency. Furthermore, it will need to position itself as a more conventional space power as it develops its space program.