China is scheduled to launch the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft to its space station on Tuesday
- November 30, 2022
The China Manned Space Agency announced on Monday that China will launch the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft to its space station at 11:08 p.m. (1508 GMT) on Nov. 29. This will be the final mission in the country’s plan to complete the crewed orbital outpost.
There will be three male astronauts: Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu, the agency said at a news conference that were involved.
The three astronauts who arrived at the beginning of June will hand over control of the space station to them within a week.
“During the stay, the Shenzhou-15 crew will welcome the visiting Tianzhou-6 cargo ship and hand over the Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship, and are planning to return to China’s Dongfeng landing site in May next year,” said Ji Qiming, a spokesperson at the agency.
“Currently, the space station combination is in stable status with all equipment functioning well, and ready for the rendezvous, docking and the crew handover,” Ji added.
With the launch of the Tianhe module—the primary living quarters for astronauts—in April 2021, China began construction of the three-module space station.
It launched the remaining two laboratory modules, Wentian and Mengtian, in July and November, where scientific experiments will be carried out.
China’s ambitions for low-earth orbit will reach a new high with the completion of the space station, which was built to last at least 10 years. NASA’s aging ISS could be out of service by the end of the decade.