Shenzhou-15 Manned Mission to Launch on Nov 29, Stay in Orbit for Six Months

China’s Shenzhou-15 crewed spacecraft mission will launch at 23:08 on November 29, according to China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). The Shenzhou-15 mission will wrap up the last stage of China’s space station construction and kick off the first stage of its application and development.

Chinese astronauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu will carry out the Shenzhou-15 spaceflight mission with Fei as the commander. Fei, selected as a member of China’s first-generation astronauts in January 1998, made his space debut in 2005 on the Shenzhou-6 mission as the commander. In November 2005, he was awarded the honorary title of “Hero Astronaut”.

Chinese astronauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu (Source: Xinhua)

Deng was selected as member of China’s first-generation astronauts in January 1998, and is now among the first group of taikonauts trained in China. Zhang was selected as member of China’s second-generation astronauts in May 2010. This will be Deng and Zhang’s first time in space.

The Shenzhou-15 crew will be in orbit for 6 months during which the Tianzhou-6 and Shenzhou-16 crew will be welcomed. The team is scheduled to return to earth in May next year. During the mission, the Shenzhou-15 crew will unlock, install and test 15 scientific experiment cabinets, and carry out more than 40 experiments and tests in the fields of space science research and application, medicine, and technology.

They will conduct extravehicular activities three to four times and complete the installation of the Mengtian lab module extended pump sets and the exposure payload platform.

The reliability and safety index of the rocket carrying out the manned mission are 0.98 and 0.997, which further improves the reliability and launch probability.

SEE ALSO: China’s Mengtian Space Lab Module Successfully Launched

Shenzhou-15 is the final task during the construction phase of China’s Space Station. According to the mission plan, the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft will conduct a fast, autonomous rendezvous and docking maneuver with the assembly in its front port and thus forming a combo of three space ships and three modules. It will be the largest structure engaged by the space station with a total weight of nearly 100 tons.