The combination of the Shenzhou-14 crewed spaceship and a Long March-2F carrier rocket is transferred to the launching area in Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, May 29, 2022. (Photo by Wang Jiangbo/Xinhua)
JIUQUAN, June 4 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming Shenzhou-14 crewed space mission will complete the construction of the Tiangong space station, with a basic three-module structure consisting of the core module Tianhe and the lab modules Wentian and Mengtian, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Saturday.
The mission will build the space station into a national space laboratory, said Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the CMSA, at a press conference.
China is set to launch the Shenzhou-14 crewed spaceship on Sunday from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, sending three astronauts to its space station combination for a six-month mission.
The Shenzhou-14 crew will work with the ground team to complete the rendezvous, docking and transposition of the two lab modules with the core module, Lin said.
They will enter the two lab modules for the first time and help make the environment suitable for their stay, he said, adding that they will unlock and install a dozen of scientific experiment cabinets in the two modules.
They will also carry out relevant function tests on the two-module space station complex, three-module space station complex, large and small mechanical arms, as well as exit from the airlock cabin in the Wentian lab module, with the assistance of the ground team.
The crew will, for the first time, use the airlock cabin in Wentian to carry out extravehicular activities for two to three times, Lin said.
They will continue to give "Tiangong Class" series to students for science popularization and perform other activities for public good.
The trio will also carry out in-orbit health monitoring, protective exercises, in-orbit training and drills, space station platform inspections and tests, equipment maintenance, as well as station and material management.
During their stay in orbit, the Shenzhou-14 crew will witness the two lab modules, Tianzhou-5 cargo craft and Shenzhou-15 crewed spaceship dock with the core module. They will experience nine space station complex configurations and conduct rendezvous and docking for five times.
The three astronauts will rotate with the Shenzhou-15 crew in orbit, before returning to the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in December, Lin said. ■