A pair of Chinese astronauts just performed the first spacewalk of the Shenzhou 16 mission.
Jing Haipeng and Zhu Yangzhu completed their approximately eight-hour extravehicular activity (EVA) outside the Tiangong space station at 1340 GMT (9:40 a.m. EDT; 9:40 p.m. Beijing time) on July 20, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO).
Shenzhou 16 crewmate Gui Haichao assisted operations from inside Tiangong using the space station's robotic arm.
CMSEO advised of the upcoming activity on Wednesday (July 19), stating that the spacewalk would take place in the near future. The EVA was not broadcast, and it was announced only after the astronauts safely returned to Tiangong.
Chinese state media outlet Xinhua reported that Jing and Zhu completed a variety of tasks, including the installation and lifting of the support frame for a panoramic camera outside Tiangong's Tianhe core module and unlocking and lifting two panoramic cameras outside the Mengtian experiment module.
Mission commander Jing Haipeng is currently on a national-record fourth trip to space, but this was his first spacewalk. Zhu is the first of China's flight engineer astronauts to embark on an EVA.
Shenzhou 16 launched on May 30. It is the fifth spaceflight mission to visit Tiangong during its construction and operational phases.