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Taikonauts leave space station for the first time

Chinese astronauts have begun their first outside operation on China’s new space station. Taikonauts Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo left the core module of the “Tiangong” (Heavenly Palace) space station on Sunday, as reported by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. During their spacewalk, which is to last serval hours, they are to perform work on the robotic arm, set up a panoramic camera and conduct tests. It is one of two planned missions during their three-month stay aboard the Tiangong. It was only the second-ever spacewalk for China. A mission in September 2008 was the first time a taikonaut had stepped out of the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft, but only for about 20 minutes.

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