Wed, 01 Feb 2023

© Provided by Xinhua

JIUQUAN, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Shenzhou-15 crewed spaceship will be launched at 11:08 p.m. Tuesday (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, announced the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Monday.

The spaceship will take three astronauts -- Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu -- to carry out the Shenzhou-15 spaceflight mission. Fei will be the commander, said Ji Qiming, assistant to the director of the CMSA, at a press conference.

The crew will stay in orbit for about six months.

The launch will be carried out with a Long March-2F carrier rocket, which will be filled with propellant soon, Ji said.

According to him, after entering orbit, the Shenzhou-15 spaceship will make a fast, automated rendezvous and dock with the front port of the space station's core module, Tianhe.

The space station will then be expanded to its largest configuration with three modules and three spaceships, having a total mass of nearly 100 tonnes, Ji said.

During their stay in orbit, the Shenzhou-15 crew will witness the arrival of the Tianzhou-6 cargo craft and Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship. They will also have a work handover with the Shenzhou-16 crew in orbit.

The Shenzhou-15 astronauts will return to the ground in May next year according to the plan, he said.

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