China this week revealed that two of its astronauts conducted a secret spacewalk around the Tiangong space station, marking the second extravehicular operation in the past three months.
Two crew members of Shenzhou 15, dubbed the “Dream Crew”, successfully exited the space station to complete “scheduled tasks” with the help of another crew member, who remained in the cabin along with one in support on the ground, its space agency CMSA reported.
But the announcement came after the operation was successfully completed, which some reports have raised concerns about why China’s space agency has chosen not to announce the latest out-of-cabin excursion.
CHINA INCREASES SURVEILLANCE, SECURITY THREAT WITH NEW SATELLITE SUPPORT FROM ANTARCTICA
“For the Communist Party of China (CPC), less transparency means more power, the power to deter, misinform and disarm enemies, reflecting China’s ancient strategic values,” Rick Fisher, senior member of the International Assessment and Strategy Center. Digital. “Furthermore, the CCP in all areas, not just space, seeks hegemon status, which means it cannot be held accountable to rules or value systems not created by the CCP, so the CCP has no problem not warn other nations of its space activities”.
CMSA made a vague announcement last month that the crew was planning their first extravehicular operation, led by mission commander Fei Junlong, which was then executed on Feb. 9.
The three-man crew has been on the space station since November 29, 2022, marking nearly 95 days in orbit.
The “Dream Crew” took over from Shenzhou 14’s crew aboard Tiangong, which also marked the first successful handover to China by a manned crew.
SCIENTISTS DEBATE WHETHER THE MOON SHOULD HAVE ITS OWN TIME ZONE
International space activities have once again made their way to the forefront of geopolitics, particularly after Russia said last July it would leave the International Space Station amid strained relations with the West, signifying a significant shift in relations spacecraft, which I’ve been kept away from by land-based politics in recent decades.
But space dynamics are also changing, and Moscow and Beijing have already tried to strengthen their orbital ties.
“The CCP’s disregard for transparency in space is already a global danger,” Fisher said, adding that this threat will extend to its lunar ambitions.
Russia and China in November signed an agreement to develop a joint lunar station by 2035, which will involve building a station both in orbit and on the lunar surface.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
They also initiated two missions that will be flown before the space station is completed, one of which will take samples from the moon and deliver them to Earth, while the other will test lunar landing and cargo delivery capabilities.
The United States has also said it will plan another trip to the moon in 2025 for the first time in over half a century, which will also mark the first time humanity has set foot on the moon in over 50 years.