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China to Launch Shenzhou-15 Spacecraft to Its Space Station with Three Taikonauts

The mission's taikonauts are Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu, with Fei as the crew commander

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Russell Chattaraj
Russell Chattaraj
Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

CHINA. Beijing: On November 29, at 11:08 p.m. Beijing time, the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft will launch to the Tiangong space station, the China Manned Space Agency announced on Monday.

According to Ji Qiming, the China Manned Space Agency’s assistant director, the Shenzhou-15 mission will complete the space station’s final phase of construction and launch the first phase of its use and development.

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Ji stated that the mission’s taikonauts are Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu, with Fei serving as the commander. Ji also noted that the crew would remain in orbit for around six months.

According to the agency, the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft will execute a quick, automated rendezvous and dock with the front port of the Tianhe core module of the space station after entering orbit.

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Then, with the addition of three modules and three spacecraft, with a combined mass of almost 100 tonnes, the space station will be expanded to its most extensive configuration.

The Shenzhou-15 crew will rotate in orbit with the Shenzhou-14 trio and watch as the Tianzhou-6 cargo ship and Shenzhou-16 manned spacecraft touch down.

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Additionally, they will exchange work tasks with the crew of the Shenzhou-16 spacecraft. According to the agency, the trio will return to the ground in May next year.

Earlier this year, the Shenzhou 14 crew was sent to Tiangong, where they oversaw the integration of two laboratory modules with the primary Tianhe habitation area. 

The three-module construction was put together by Commander Chen Dong and fellow astronauts Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe by connecting the already-existing Tianhe, Wentian, and Mengtian modules.

After the former Soviet Union and the United States, China became the third nation to send an astronaut into orbit when its space program sent its first man into orbit in 2003. 

The People’s Liberation Army, a branch of the Communist Party in power, is in charge of China’s space program, which led the US to ban it from the International Space Station.

China successfully landed a robot rover on the moon and launched one on Mars last year. China has also brought back lunar samples, and officials have discussed the possibility of crewed moon missions.

Also Read: China to Test Mating of Monkeys in Space

Author

  • Russell Chattaraj

    Mechanical engineering graduate, writes about science, technology and sports, teaching physics and mathematics, also played cricket professionally and passionate about bodybuilding.

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