On Tuesday, China will launch the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft into its space station
BEIJING: The Shenzhou-15 spacecraft will launch at the space station on November 29 at 11:08 p.m. (1508 GMT), the China Manned Space Agency said on Monday. This is the last mission in China’s plan to finish the crewed orbiting outpost.
Three astronauts will deliver the space station
Three male astronauts, Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu, will be aboard, the agency said during a press briefing. The three astronauts who arrived in early June will deliver the space station to them in a week.
According to Ji Qiming, a spokeswoman for the agency, “during the stay, the Shenzhou-15 crew will greet the arriving Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft and hand over the Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship, and are intending to returning to China’s Dongfeng landing site in May next year.”Ji said, “At this time, the space station integration is in stable condition with all equipment operating as intended and is prepared for the crew handover, docking, and rendezvous.”
China building a three-module space station
China started building the three-module space station in April 2021 with the launch of the Tianhe module, which houses the crew’ primary living room. It unveiled the final two laboratories’ modules, Wentian and Mengtian, where scientific investigations would be conducted, in the months of July and November.
The space station’s completion will mark a significant step in China’s plans for low-Earth orbit, as NASA’s aging ISS may cease operations by the end of the decade. The space station is expected to last at least 10 years.