back to article Taikonauts complete seven-hour spacewalk, the first for China since 2008

The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) has announced that two taikonauts successfully exited the Tianhe space station yesterday for China’s second ever spacewalk. The taikonauts, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, were supported by Nie Haisheng from the cabin as they carried out extravehicular operations for approximately seven hours …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    - Were you forced to go into space?

    - No, I totally wasn't forced. I did it to keep my family safe.

    - What would happen if you didn't go?

    - We would be sent to a correctional centre to get us adjusted to the Chinese way of life

    - Now you are adjusting to life in space?

    - Yes it is great, the party let us walk and we even have a robot arm that can do things for us

    - Would you come back to earth?

    - The earth is wherever we go. However only a hammer has use here and I miss my sickle.

    Curtain. The end.

  2. Ken G Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    Well done

    Neither easy or safe, when it's only the second time for their country and it's a new model suit, not the Feitian model used in 2008.

    Yes, the CPC get some progaganda from it, and the crew will have to demonstrate loyalty to be selected but that was true for the soviet cosmonauts too and it doesn't lessen the skill and courage of the engineers and pilots involved.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Well done

      While Apollo astronauts were chosen in a free capitalist manner by whoever bid the highest

    2. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Well done

      We shouldn't be giving a platform to countries with not exactly great human rights track record.

      It's like cheering an athlete breaking a record and ignoring the fact they used illegal drugs to achieve it.

      We should have standards.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Oh but we have standards.

        And if they don't suit you, we have other standards.

        Just ask Google or Apple.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Well done

        >We shouldn't be giving a platform to countries with not exactly great human rights track record.

        You might want to look at the history of the USA space program

        1. BloggsyMaloan

          Re: Well done

          Not to mention Gitmo.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Well done

            I reach for the stars (but sometimes I hit London)

            W von Baun

            I just send them up, where they come down is not my department said Werner von Braun

      3. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Well done

        People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...

      4. cornetman Silver badge

        Re: Well done

        > We shouldn't be giving a platform to countries with not exactly great human rights track record.

        Well how about just congratulating 3 men on their massive rocks to be able do such a thing? They are not responsible for what their government do.

        Condemn governments on what they do wrong.

        Congratulate them on what they do right.

        Otherwise, we just come over as contrary ar*eholes.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well done

        Guantanamo Bay detention camp? Just saying

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Well done!

    I can only wish them all the luck in and out of the world, the more people and countries that go into space the better for science and man's outward looking.

    I am 70, when I was a kid I thought by now we would be a lot further in manned space exploration than we are, never realised space had to demonstrate a profit back then.

    Now the profit might be down to who gets a flag/corporate logo on it first.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Well done!

      >never realised space had to demonstrate a profit back then.

      That's what's been holding it back - imagine how aircraft would be if only the US govt had been involved in their development.

      We would be attempting to repeat the first crossing of the Atlantic with a new expensive disposable aeroplane

      1. MiguelC Silver badge

        Re: Well done!

        That's a bit U.S.-centric, a lot of people in Europe (mainly the UK and France) were also busy developing heavier-than-air flying technology at the same time the Wright brother did their thing

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge


          The Wright brothers were not the first to fly, they were the first to accomplish controlled flight.

          1. Martin Gregorie

            Spot on!

            Slightly off-topic for this thread, but if you want to know who did what and when between 1895 and 1909 when the basics of controlled flight were being worked out, read "Kill Devil Hill" by Harry Combs - he was the Learjet chief test pilot and, so by far the best qualified author to have written about the early days of flight. This book shows that, while its not hard to make a machine fly under its own power, making it fly stably is quite a bit harder and making it both easily controllable and stable is at least an order of magnitude harder still. It describes the thought and experimentation that went into achieving all this. Finally, not getting killed while doing all that takes exceptional engineering and problem analysis skills.

            That Harry Combs manages to cover all that in a pretty readable book shows that he is a pretty good author too. While his book is primarily about the Wrights, it also covers all all the work done by other pioneers in Europe, UK and North America


            1. Spherical Cow

              ... and New Zealand?

              1. Klimt's Beast Would

                Flight of the Conchords?

          2. Andrew Alan McKenzie

            first to controlled powered flight in a heavier-than-air aircraft to be pedantic

        2. Lars Silver badge

          Re: Well done!


          And very UK-centric leaving out the Germans.

          When talking about aviation history it is France, Germany and next the USA and Britain perhaps.

          There is a very good narrative about this by Greg's Airplanes and Automobiles here:

          The Wright Brothers DID Invent the Airplane

      2. Tom Chiverton 1

        Re: Well done!

        Who stole the jet engine from us again?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Well done!

          >Who stole the jet engine from us again?

          The Germans ?

          1. Julz Silver badge

            Re: Well done!

            No, theirs were way better than ours :)

            1. Fr. Ted Crilly Bronze badge

              Re: Well done!

              Well, no not quite, Ohain like Whittle went for the centrifugal commpressor not because it was the best but because it was expected to be workable and within reach. True the Bmw and Jumo axial engines were technically better, however they were also extra-destructo-fire-bang machines wheras the Whittle engines were developed to the point of 100hr overhaul rather than the feeble 25hr maybe (if the pilots and ground crew didnt screw up engine handling) of the German axial engines. Believe it or not, German metallurgy was not up to the task, possibly due to war shortages but thats another discussion...

              Now can anyone guess why the Me 262 had mildly swept wings?


              1. Lars Silver badge

                Re: Well done!

                @Fr. Ted Crilly

                I know it hurts, but I would still suggest you accept the simple fact that the Germans both got it first and right too.


                World War Two JET POWER

              2. Lars Silver badge

                Re: Well done!

                No Ohain did not go for a centrifugal engine but for axial flow which of course is the winning solution.

                The Whittle engine was sent to the USA and was then made axial flow too.

    2. cray74

      Re: Well done!

      never realised space had to demonstrate a profit back then.

      NASA (and thus US taxpayers) paid for Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and the shuttle, but NASA didn't build those spacecraft. Alan Shepard's first flight was in a Mercury capsule built by the McDonnell Aircraft Company, which was lofted by a Redstone rocket built by Chrysler's aerospace division.

      Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin, and Neil Armstrong went to the moon in a capsule built by North American Aviation, used a lander built by Grumman Aircraft Company, and launched in a rocket with stages built by Boeing (Saturn IC), North American (Saturn II), and Douglas Aircraft Company (Saturn IVB). Their A7L spacesuits were made by ILC Dover and Hamilton Standard. Launch pad services were supplied by Bendix.

      NASA didn't have to show a profit (though it tries to show financial benefits for American taxpayers), but all those private space companies weren't going to the moon "for the exposure." Government cheese like NASA contracts was a good source of profits while the Space Race lasted.

  4. big_D Silver badge

    Great for them.

    But still a shame that we can't all work together, when it comes to expanding human knowledge and exploring the next frontier. Gene Roddenberry's dream is still a long way away.

    1. Spherical Cow

      Didn't Gene Roddenberry just shift discrimination from different races to different species, once different species become known? I don't think Gene suggested discrimination would stop.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        It was more the federation working together at making a better future for the federation, instead of personal/regional gain I was getting at.

        Most of the discrimination came from outside forces or if it came from inside, those were the bad guys. Although it sometimes comes over a bit cringe worthy and sexist these days - short skirts for the women, but you don't see Shatner running round in a mini-kilt. /shudder

  5. Elledan


    One may hope that one day humankind can be just that, without artificial divisions along imaginary borders and so on. Much like in Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot'. Who after all, when looking upon Earth from space for the very first time, would have even slightest inkling of this 'human history' and 'traditions' which we so desperately cling to?

    Hearing ISS astronauts talk about their experiences during spacewalks, when they realise that between them and the infinite reaches of space there is nothing but this spacesuit created through humankind's brightest minds and most skillful hands, as they float hundreds of kilometers above the pale blue surface of Earth. Only from there do you realise that you can - in fact - not see countries or borders.

    Just a beautiful, unique planet whose biosphere is all that protects humankind from oblivion, much like an astronaut or taikonaut or cosmonaut's spacesuit. The fragility and beauty of something that is apparently so hard to appreciate when standing on the Earth's surface.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Humankind

      We're just caretakers of this planet - and we're doing a really s**t job.

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