Fei Junlong (C), Deng Qingming (R) and Zhang Lu, the three Chinese taikonauts for the upcoming Shenzhou-15 mission, meet the press at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, Nov. 28, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Gang)
The Shenzhou-15 astronauts will conduct a work handover with the Shenzhou-14 trio in orbit and carry out the verification of long-term residence on China's space station in its three-module configuration, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Monday.
The Shenzhou-15 mission will wrap up the last stage of the space station construction and kick off the first stage of its application and development, said Ji Qiming, assistant to the CMSA director, at a press conference.
During the mission, the Shenzhou-15 crew will also 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, space medicine and space technology.
They will conduct extravehicular activities (EVAs) three to four times and complete the installation of the Mengtian lab module extended pump sets and the exposure payload platform, said Ji.
The crew will verify the exit mode of the cargo airlock cabin of the Mengtian module, and cooperate with the ground to complete six cargo exit tasks, said Ji.
They will perform regular platform testing, maintenance and space station affairs management.
In addition, the Shenzhou-15 crew will carry out in-orbit health protection exercises, training and drills, Ji added.
The currently in-orbit Shenzhou-14 crew are preparing for the arrival of the Shenzhou-15 crew. Before the historic meeting, the Shenzhou-14 trio need to set the space station to a six-person in-orbit mode, said Ji.
During the rotation of the two groups, they will complete a work handover concerning the status of the space station combination and materials, as well as the experimental projects.
Launched on June 5 this year, the Shenzhou-14 crew have worked in orbit for 176 days. They cooperated with ground control to complete the assembly and construction of the space station's T-shape structure.
With the Shenzhou-15 crew to be in space soon, there will be a total of 12 astronauts on four missions working for the in-orbit construction of China's space station, according to Ji.
The Shenzhou-15 manned spaceship will be launched at 11:08 p.m. Tuesday (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China.