China revealed this week that two of its astronauts had carried out a secret spacewalk around the Tiangong space station, marking the second extravehicular mission in the last three months.
Two members of the Shenzhou 15 crew, dubbed the “Dream Crew”, successfully exited the space station to complete “scheduled tasks” with the assistance of another crew member, who remained in the cabin with ground support. Its space agency reported CMSA.
But the announcement came after the operation was successfully completed, with some reporting suggesting that China’s space agency has opted not to announce the latest out-of-cabin excursion.
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“For the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), less transparency means more power, the power to deter, inform and disarm enemies, reflecting ancient Chinese strategic values,” said Rick Fischer, a senior fellow at the Center for International Assessment and Strategy told Fox News. Digital. “Furthermore, the CCP in all spheres, not just outer space, seeks a position of hegemon, which means it cannot be accountable to any non-CCP-created rules or value systems, so the CCP has to rely on other There is no problem in not warning countries about it.” space activities. ,
CMSA made a vague announcement last month that the crew, led by mission commander Fei Junlong, was planning their first extravehicular expedition, which was then scheduled for February 9.
The three-member crew has been on the space station since November 29, 2022, which is about 95 days in orbit.
The “Dream Crew” took over for the Shenzhou 14 crew aboard Tiangong, which also marked China’s first successful handover of a human crew.
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International space activities have once again been at the forefront of geopolitics, especially after Russia said last July it planned to leave the International Space Station amid strained ties with the West, which has been increasingly concerned about space relations. reflects a significant change in the worldview that has taken place in recent decades. Stay away from earth based politics.
But space-based dynamics are changing too, and Moscow and Beijing have already looked to shore up their orbital ties.
“The CCP’s contempt for transparency in space is already a global threat,” Fischer said, adding that the threat will extend toward its lunar ambitions.
In November, Russia and China signed an agreement to develop a joint lunar station by 2035, which would include building a station in orbit and one on the lunar surface.
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They have also flown two missions prior to the completion of the space station, one that will take samples from the Moon and deliver them to Earth, while the other will test lunar landing and cargo-delivery capabilities.
The US has also said it will plan another trip to the Moon in 2025 for the first time in half a century, which will also mark the first time mankind has set foot on the Moon in more than 50 years.
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