A Brand New Panoramic Camera Has Been Installed On The Tiangong Space Station

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During the day of Santo Stefano, three astronauts on board the new Chinese Tiangong Space Station performed an extraveicular activity (EVA) to perform some technical tasks, but also to mount a brand new panoramic camera to the

Operations began on December 26th at 11:44 AM in the Italian time zone: astronaut Rookie Ye Guangfu opened the door of the Tianhe module’s balance chamber and “launched” outside the avam Both were monitored by fellow astronaut Wang Yaping, in charge of controlling the station’s large robotic arm.

The new camera has been positioned at a favorable point for observations, as it is more raised than normal and therefore allows less blocked observations. The new device will be used mainly to keep an eye on the surroundings of the Tiangong, especially when there is human crew outside, but it is likely that it can still give beautiful space shootings (maybe including portions of our planet in the background).

It was the fourth extraveicular activity that China successfully performed from the Tianhe module, and it is a rather important value considering that the station is still in an embryonic state (for now it is composed of a single module) and that it was officially launched only in April

These space walks, in addition to technical and engineering importance, are used to test the performance of the station’s balance chamber and robotic arm (rather like what we learned about the ISS).

The launches of the next modules for the Tiangong station are scheduled for the beginning of summer 2022, probably even in May if the pandemic will not slow down the work any further. When Tiangong is completed it will be about one fifth of the ISS as size, but it will have a scientific importance of at least equal value.

But in these hours, some worrying news has involved China and SpaceX: the Tiangong station has almost collided with Starlink satellites.

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