The Shenzhou 13 astronauts are assisting in the testing and construction of China’s first long-term space station while also preserving a healthy work-life balance.
Video shows astronauts focused on fitness
The three astronauts are taking the opportunity to maintain their fitness, according to new video updates published by the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). They’re also aiming to reduce the body’s impacts of long-term microgravity exposure.
Wang Yaping, China’s second woman in space and the first to visit the new space station, can be seen having a workout on the station’s treadmill, strapping herself in before standing up and running.
After releasing scant information regarding the Shenzhou 13 mission, the CMSA has recently begun giving more regular updates from Tianhe, the station’s core module. This was only two weeks after launch, and it only provided sporadic coverage of the previous Shenzhou 12 mission.
The videos have received a lot of positive feedback. Wang’s training video garnered more than 3 million views just over five hours after it was released to CMSA’s Sina Weibo social media account.
The exercise apparatus appears to be meant to absorb the vibrations caused by astronauts’ foot strikes so that the spacecraft and its equipment are not harmed.
Maintaining health in space for 6 months
Exercise is critical in combating some of the muscle and bone loss that astronauts undergo while in microgravity. And the Shenzhou 13 crew has only been on Tianhe for a month of their six-month mission.
Along with the treadmill, the station’s training equipment includes a spin bike and resistance bands. The Chinese martial art of tai chi has also been practiced by mission commander Zhai Zhigang and his associates.
In another famous social media post, another Shenzhou 13 crew member Ye Guangfu was shown playing a sliding block puzzle called Huarong Pass.
For the astronaut, it hasn’t all been fun and games. Zhai and Wang, on the other hand, have just completed the first of two or three planned spacewalks to prepare the Tianhe module for future work and the arrival of new modules next year.
Zhai, Wang, and Ye are expected to remain aboard Tianhe until March 2022, according to the Shenzhou 13 launch schedule.
The Shenzhou 12 mission, which took Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo to Tianhe three months earlier this year, was China’s longest human spaceflight mission yet.