The Chinese manned spacecraft Shenzhou-15, carrying a crew of three taikonauts, has docked with China’s Tiangong National Orbital Station, China’s Manned Flight Program Administration said on Wednesday.
“The Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft successfully docked at the front port of the base module of the Tianhe station on November 30 at 05.42 Beijing time (00.42 Moscow time)”, management said in a statement.
In total, the flight lasted almost 7 hours.
This mission was the fourth expedition of the taikonauts to the Tiangong. The crew will have to conduct more than 40 scientific and technical experiments and tests, and the taikonauts will also make three or four spacewalks to carry out installation work outside the station.
At the moment, Tiangong is under construction, after its completion at the end of this year, the full-fledged operation of the orbital laboratory will begin.
The total weight of the station, which will be located at an altitude of 400 km, after its completion will be about 90 tons. It will be five times smaller than the International Space Station and will be capable of accommodating three crew members on a full-time basis (and up to six when changing crews). The life of the Chinese space station is about 10 years.