China to launch Shenzhou XV on Tuesday

By ZHAO LEI | | Updated: 2022-11-28 09:11
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A photo taken on Nov 21, 2022 shows China's Shenzhou XV manned spacecraft and a Long March 2F Y15 rocket being transferred to the launch area. [Photo by Wang Jiangbo/For]

China will launch the three astronauts of the Shenzhou XV mission to the space station on Tuesday night, according to a program official.

Ji Qiming, assistant director of the China Manned Space Agency, said at a news conference on Monday morning at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China that the crew members — Major General Fei Junlong, Senior Colonel Deng Qingming and Senior Colonel Zhang Lu — are scheduled to ride on board the Shenzhou XV spacecraft that will be lifted by a Long March 2F carrier rocket at 11:08 pm from the Jiuquan center in the barren Gobi Desert.

The rocket will soon be filled with propellants at the service tower, according to the official.

The Shenzhou XV crew is to stay inside the Tiangong space station for six months and is scheduled to return to Earth in May. They will carry out three to four spacewalks during the mission to mount equipment outside the station, he said.

Their major tasks include unlocking, installing and testing 15 scientific cabinets; conducting more than 40 scientific experiments and technological demonstrations; and carrying out six cargo orbital deployment operations, Ji said.

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