China has launched the Shenzhou-15 mission to the Tiangong area station on Tuesday, Nov. 29, throughout an instantaneous launch window at 15:08 UTC from the Jiuquan Satellite tv for pc Launch Heart (JSLC). It launched three taikonauts to the station to switch the present crew of the Shenzhou-14 mission, utilizing a Chang Zheng 2F (CZ-2F) rocket and launching from Area Launch Web site 1 (SLS-1), which is often known as Web site 901.
The spacecraft efficiently docked to Tiangong at 21:42 UTC.
The crew of the mission was introduced at a press convention on Nov. 28, 2022.
The commander of the mission is Fei Junlong, who was born in 1965 in Kunshan. On the age of 17, he joined the Individuals’s Liberation Military Air Pressure (PLAAF), the place he turned a pilot and flight expertise inspector. In 1998, Fei joined the CNSA astronaut program.
He beforehand flew on the Shenzhou-6 free-flight mission–the second crewed mission of the Chinese language area program–in October 2005, which makes this his second spaceflight. He’s the one taikonaut with flight expertise on this mission.
He’s married and has a son.
Because the operator, Deng Qingming is flying on this mission. He was born in 1966 in Yuhuan County and was a fighter pilot for the PLAAF. He additionally joined the CNSA astronaut program in 1998, identical to Fei Junlong. After being a backup crew member on three completely different Shenzhou missions, he’s now flying for the primary time. In actual fact, Deng is the one one of many unique 14 taikonauts who has not flown on a mission up to now.
The system operator for this mission is Zhang Lu, who was born in Hanshou County in 1976 and graduated from the PLA Air Pressure Aviation College in 2000. After that, he turned a fighter pilot for the PLAAF, earlier than being chosen as an astronaut in Could 2010, as a part of the Group-02 astronauts.
Throughout this mission, it’s anticipated that the Shenzhou-15 crew will conduct 4 spacewalks outdoors of the station. The project of those walks has not been introduced but.
After the handover to the Shenzhou-15 crew, the Shenzhou-14 staff of Chen Dong, Liu Yang, and Cai Xuzhe will return to earth in early December.
With the Shenzhou-14 mission, everlasting habitation on the Tiangong area station began. The plan is now to all the time carry out direct hand-overs between crews, in distinction to leaving the station deserted throughout crew rotations.
As a capsule for this mission, the Shenzhou spacecraft (often known as Divine Boat) is getting used. This Soyuz-inspired capsule has been the crew launching asset for the Chinese language crewed area program for a few years, first flying in 1999.
The mass of Shenzhou is about 7,840 kg, relying on the mission profile and crew. It’s 9.25 meters lengthy and a couple of.8 meters vast, having an inside quantity of 14 cubic meters. It might probably host as much as three taikonauts and might keep in area for as much as 183 days, docked on the Tiangong area station.
That is, because the variety of the mission is indicating, the fifteenth flight of a Shenzhou spacecraft. Of those, 5 didn’t host crew. The primary crewed launch was throughout the Shenzhou-5 mission in October 2003.
The spacecraft itself consists of three modules. The primary module is the orbital module, which is especially used as a habitation area throughout free flight. It might probably additionally host scientific devices, payloads, and different commodities wanted for the life on the station.
The second module is the reentry module. It’s in the midst of the entire spacecraft and hosts the warmth protect for reentry. This half is the one factor that can return to earth on the finish of the mission. The Shenzhou-15 mission is deliberate to remain in area till Could 2023.
On the finish of the spacecraft is the service module. It hosts vital service elements akin to photo voltaic panels, life help, propulsion, and extra. It’s primarily used throughout the free flight of the capsule to the station.
Through the Shenzhou-14 mission, the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft was on standby as a doable lifeboat for the present crew. With it launching now, the Shenzhou-16 spacecraft will take its place as a doable lifesaver. Within the case of an emergency, a launch of a rescue ship might occur in 9 days.
The Tiangong Area Station
The Tiangong area station–often known as Palace within the sky in English–is an area station constructed by China. Because the begin of the Shenzhou-14 mission, two extra modules joined the Tianhe core module, often known as the Concord of the Heavens.
In July 2022, the Wentian laboratory cabin module–Quest for the Heavens in English–was launched on Chang Zheng 5B. Later that yr, the Mengtian laboratory cabin module, known as Dreaming of the Heavens in English, was launched in October 2022. With the installment of each modules, the Tiangong station is now completed.
Down the road, the Xuntian area telescope will be a part of the area station in orbit and sometimes dock on the station for upkeep work. The launch of Xuntian is at present deliberate for December 2023.
Totally constructed, Tiangong is now roughly one-fifth of the mass of the Worldwide Area Station. It has a mass of roughly 100 tons and is about the identical dimension as the previous Soviet area station, Mir. It’s deliberate to be in operation for 10 to fifteen years. It orbits the earth at round 389 km in altitude with an inclination of 41.58 levels.
The rocket for this mission was the Chang Zheng 2F (often known as the Lengthy March 2F). It’s a two-stage launch car that’s used for China’s human area program and is a part of the older Chang Zheng autos.
Up to now, the rocket has an ideal success fee of 100% on 17 launches. It stands 62 meters tall with a liftoff weight of 464,000 kg and might carry as much as 8,400 kg into low Earth orbit.
Its primary core is powered by 4 YF-20B engines that may present as much as 3,256 kN of thrust at liftoff, with an effectivity of 259 seconds of particular impulse at sea stage. The 4 liquid aspect boosters mixed are contributing the identical thrust because the core stage, bringing the full liftoff thrust to six,512 kN.
The boosters are every 15.3 meters in size with a diameter of two.3 meters. The core stage is 23.7 meters lengthy and separate from the second stage after the boosters.
The second stage performs the ultimate orbital insertion of the crewed car which is 13.5 meters in size with a diameter of three.4 meters. It might probably produce as much as 831 kN of thrust with its single YF-24B engine and has a particular impulse of 289 seconds.
The spacecraft docked on the station utilizing the Tianhe ahead port.
Yaogan 36 Group 03
Late final week, the Yaogan 36 Group 03 mission was launched from the Xichang Satellite tv for pc Launch Heart (XSLC). It launched on Sunday, Nov. 27 at 12:23 UTC. As a payload, it had the Yaogan 36 Group 3 payloads, that are three army reconnaissance satellites. The goal orbit for this mission was LEO.
Yaogan Weixing are distant sensing satellites which are similar to labeled army satellites of the US’ USA program or the Russian’s Kosmos missions. They serve surveillance, spy, and nationwide safety functions. No official utilization of those payloads is given.
The launch car for this mission was the Chang Zheng 2D which is additional rising its lead because the most-flown Chinese language rocket of 2022.
(Lead picture: Shenzhou-15 lifts off. Credit score: CGTN)
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