Chinese astronaut Wang Yaping became the country's first woman to perform a spacewalk on Sunday.

According to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), Wang and fellow astronaut Zhai Zhigang, two of the three-member team presently stationed aboard China's new Tiangong space station, completed the 6.5-hour spacewalk in the early hours of Monday morning.

Ye Guangfu, the third member of the Shenzhou-13 crew, remained on the space station to assist with the spacewalk from the core module.

After landing a rover on Mars and sending probes to the moon, Tiangong - which means "heavenly palace" - is the latest triumph in China's effort to become a major space power.

The three astronauts are the second crew to stay at the Chinese space laboratory, which is planned to operate for at least 10 years. Wang is the first female visitor to the site.

"This marks the first extravehicular activity of the Shenzhou-13 crew, and it is also the first in China's space history involving the participation of a woman astronaut," the CMSA said in a statement early on Monday.

"The whole process was smooth and successful," the agency added.

According to the state-run publication the Global Times, the astronauts fitted a suspension mechanism and transfer connectors to the station's robotic arm during the spacewalk. They also put the safety of supporting equipment to the test, including China's own spacesuit.

Since their arrival on Oct. 16, this is the first time the crew has left the station.

With at least one more spacewalk scheduled, their work entails setting up equipment and testing technology for future construction.

The team is expected to stay at the station for six months.

Zhai, the mission's commander, is a veteran fighter pilot who conducted China's first spacewalk in 2008.

Wang, Zhai, and Ye launched from the Jiuquan launch center in the Gobi desert of northwestern China just a few weeks ago.

Wang's accomplishment was also promoted by state media and CMSA following Sunday's successful spacewalk. Only 15 women had done a spacewalk before Wang, since Soviet astronaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first to do so in 1984. To date, the vast majority of female spacewalkers have been NASA astronauts from the U.S.