On June 4, the return capsule of the Shenzhou 15 manned spacecraft successfully landed at Dongfeng Landing Field.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Ren Junchuan
Xinhua News Agency, Jiuquan, June 4th Topic: Dongfeng draped the morning glow in the sky and welcomed the returning boat——Full record of Shenzhou 15 manned flight missions
Xinhua News Agency reporters Li Guoli, Li Yun, Huang Yichen, Guo Mingzhi
The moon sets and the sun rises for more than a hundred days and nights, and the cold and summer come and go for half a year in spring and autumn.
On June 4, 2023, after working and living with the crew of Shenzhou 16 who came to “succeed” for 5 days, the crew of Shenzhou 15 bid farewell to the Chinese space station and returned with a dream come true.
At 6:33, the return capsule of the Shenzhou 15 manned spacecraft landed safely at the Dongfeng Landing Field in the hinterland of the Badain Jaran Desert. The manned flight mission of the Shenzhou 15 was a complete success.
For the first time, the “space reunion” was realized, which opened the era of long-term manned presence on the Chinese space station; witnessed the full completion of the Chinese space station, and celebrated the first Spring Festival after the completion of the space station; successfully completed 4 out-of-vehicle missions, refreshing the record of astronauts’ single-crew out-of-vehicle activities… …In half a year, the crew of Shenzhou 15 was in the vast space, writing a new page for the history of China‘s manned spaceflight.
Dream come true
Astronaut Fei Junlong, who had been on a business trip for more than 180 days, successfully exited the cabin and said with a smile: “The flight crew of Shenzhou 15 has completed all the in-orbit missions and now returned to the motherland smoothly. We feel good. “
The complete success of the Shenzhou 15 manned flight mission means that the key technology verification and construction phase of the space station has been completed in one go with 12 launch missions.
From the formal establishment of China‘s manned spaceflight project, to the full completion of China‘s space station, and then to the space station entering the stage of application and development, in less than 31 years, China‘s manned spaceflight has achieved the goal of “shipbuilding for station building and station building for application”. The romantic dream of generations of astronauts.
The crew of Shenzhou 15 are the witnesses, participants, and contributors of the moment when dreams come true.
On the night of November 29, 2022, the long arrow passed the golden crescent moon, and the Long March 2F Yao 15 carrier rocket carrying the Shenzhou 15 manned spacecraft was ignited and lifted off.
At that time, the wind at the launch site was biting, and the temperature was close to the minimum temperature for rocket launch. This is the first time that my country has successfully launched a manned spacecraft in ultra-low temperature weather.
After the combination of the Shenzhou 15 manned spacecraft and the space station successfully achieved autonomous rapid rendezvous and docking, three astronauts, Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lu, successively passed through the door of the return module, the front door of the orbital module, and the diameter of the node module of the core module. There are three doors to the docking hatch, and the crew of Shenzhou 14 tightly embraces each other.
At 7:33 on November 30, 2022, two astronaut crews “joined forces in space” for the first time, and for the first time in our country, six astronauts flew in orbit at the same time-the era of long-term manned presence on the Chinese space station began.
Today, the rotation mode of “new crews go up first, and old crews come down again” has become the norm, which is of great significance for the long-term on-orbit operation of the space station and the development of scientific and technological experiments.
During its in-orbit period, the crew of Shenzhou 15 completed four out-of-vehicle activities, setting a new record for a single crew out of the Chinese astronauts. During the extravehicular activities, the three astronauts worked closely together inside and outside the cabin, and successfully completed the installation of the extravehicular expansion pump set, the installation and connection of the cross-cabin cables, and the installation of the support rods on the platform for exposing the extravehicular load. Covering the three cabins of the space station, astronauts holding large-volume foot limiters and extravehicular operating consoles and other “firsts”, it laid the foundation for subsequent large-scale extravehicular scientific experiments and technical experiments.
Fei Junlong described these tasks as: “The house has already been built when it is in our hands, and we are responsible for the decoration and delivery.”
In addition to the successful completion of the extravehicular activities, the crew of Shenzhou 15 also carried out multiple payload extravehicular missions, 8 human factors engineering technology research, 28 aerospace medical experiments, and 38 space science experiments (trials). Covering life ecology, material science, fluid mechanics, etc., valuable experimental data has been obtained.
It is worth mentioning that during the Shenzhou 15 mission, the astronauts used a two-photon microscope to obtain three-dimensional images of the epidermis and superficial dermis of the skin, which is the first time in the world.
In order to promote the all-round development of my country’s space science, space application, and space technology, in the face of larger-scale space science experiments and technical experiments, the crew and crew of astronauts are more refined, and it is inevitable to “let professional people do professional things” For the first time, a new combination of “space pilots, spaceflight engineers, and payload experts” appeared in the crew of Shenzhou 16.
Space science popularization sparks a prairie fire
There is a folk proverb: “When you grow mangoes, you are busy harvesting and planting.”
In two days, it will be the traditional Chinese solar term for the planting of mangoes. Right now, the fields in the north and south of the river are full of busy work.
Six months ago, the crew of Shenzhou 15 brought a special “meeting gift” to the sky – several packets of different seeds. Among them, the seeds of elm money are the seeds of the “strong tree” next to the launch tower of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center; the seeds of the neem tree come from Kaishan Island, which was once short of water, electricity and supplies; What the heart is tied to… Every seed carries the great revival dream of the Chinese nation, and also contains the best wishes of Chinese astronauts for the prosperity of the country and the safety of the people.
These seeds were taken into space by the crew of Shenzhou 15, and brought back to the ground by the crew of Shenzhou 14. It is understood that the two Shenzhou spacecraft carried more than 1,300 copies of space breeding materials such as crop seeds and microbial strains from 112 units. During the previous missions during the construction phase of the space station, not only space breeding experiments were arranged, but the astronauts also tried to grow vegetables in space.
“How to overcome weightlessness on the space station?” “How to solve the problem of eating?” Not only for Chinese primary and middle school students, the crew of Shenzhou 15 also carried out an interesting “Q&A” with young people from SCO countries.
Space teaching has always been an effective way for China‘s manned spaceflight project to carry out space science education for all mankind, especially to spread manned spaceflight knowledge to young people and sow the seeds of spaceflight dreams. In May of this year, the China Manned Space Engineering Office launched the “Tiangong Classroom” online course series for the first time. The first class was jointly shot by Shenzhou 15 astronauts and ground experts to explain the “payload out of the cabin mission” in detail.
During the Spring Festival holiday, the second “Tiangong Painting Exhibition” and the first “Global Photography of Tiangong” photography exhibition on China Space Station were launched, and the astronauts of Shenzhou 15 also gave a key introduction to the exhibited works. The children’s works drawn with different colors and lines, as well as their unrestrained imagination, amazed the astronauts. More and more professional photographers, astronomy enthusiasts, aerospace workers, young students, etc. are using their mobile phones and cameras to capture the classic moments when the Chinese space station transits.
The scientific fertile soil nourishes the trees, and the branches and leaves are like covering and fertile soil.
Space dreams are constantly sown and circulated. Wang Yaping, who was drawn to the stars and seas because of Yang Liwei’s flying into the sky, later became a “space teacher” for tens of millions of teenagers; many of the children who watched Wang Yaping’s space lectures in 2013 have now become astronauts.
During the Shenzhou 16 mission, the spacecraft specially carried excellent paintings by teenagers from 10 African countries including Algeria, Congo (Kinshasa), Egypt, and Madagascar. International paintings entered the Chinese space station for the first time.
“Exploring the vast universe is the common cause and common dream of all mankind, regardless of race, age, or region. We are willing to join hands with all peace-loving people to draw a better blueprint.” Haipeng said at the crew meeting, “This time we are honored to bring the children’s best youth, best friendship, and best dreams to space, sow the seeds of science, dreams and friendship on the Chinese space station, so that It takes root and sprouts, blossoms and bears fruit.”
Dare to dream, have the courage to pursue dreams, and be diligent in realizing dreams, the spark sown by China‘s manned spaceflight project has turned into a prairie fire.
The stars, the sea, and the moon are expected
On June 2, the crews of Shenzhou 15 and Shenzhou 16 held a handover ceremony at the space station. The crew of Shenzhou 15 completed the last leg of the construction phase of the space station, and entered the first phase of the application and development phase of the space station. The stick was handed over to the crew of Shenzhou 16.
One day later, the manned spacecraft of Shenzhou 15 left the space station complex, and was on its way home under the watchful eyes of the crew of Shenzhou 16.
At the Dongfeng landing site at the same time, the task convoy followed by the reporter had already penetrated into the hinterland of the Badain Jaran Desert and was waiting in the dark. In the early morning of the 4th, when the desert was awakened by the sun, several helicopters and nearly a hundred vehicles also headed for the scheduled landing site of the spacecraft one after another.
This is a return search and rescue operation across the early morning, and it is also the fourth time that Dongfeng Landing Field welcomes the return of heroes.
This time, Shenzhou 15 still adopts the “5-turn fast return mode”. In order to complete the spacecraft search and astronaut rescue missions, the Dongfeng Landing Site has carried out a large number of targeted preparations in advance, promoted the optimization of the layout of the landing site, and selected an emergency backup site around the Dongfeng Landing Site. search and rescue plan.
This time, on the basis of the previous large-scale deviation search and rescue plan, the return mission of Shenzhou 15 planned for the first time the return of the spacecraft’s trajectory to the landing area, and designed the search and rescue plan for the spacecraft’s rear trajectory to improve the rapid search and rescue capabilities of the Dongfeng landing site to deal with large-scale deviations. Enhance the safety assurance capabilities of astronauts to ensure the safe return of the crew of Shenzhou 15.
“Since the operation of the International Space Station, there have been three cases of ballistic return after manned spacecraft.” Bian Hancheng, senior engineer of Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and deputy chief designer of the landing field system of the manned spaceflight project, introduced.
“Separation of the orbital module”, “start of braking”, “separation of the propulsion module”, “passing through the black barrier area”… When a huge red and white parachute blooms in the center of the sky and the earth, the helicopter search and rescue team of Dongfeng Landing Field, the airlift mobile search and rescue team, the ground The search and rescue team, the militia team around the landing area and other search and rescue forces passed through countless camel thorns and Haloxylon trees, rolled over the undulating sandbags and gravel, and quickly assembled to the latest scheduled landing point of the spacecraft.
All of a sudden, the Gobi Desert was full of dust and smoke, rolling and rising under the rays of the sun.
“During the return period of the spacecraft, the ground wind force in the landing site area is 3-4. The meteorological conditions meet the return requirements, and the Dongfeng landing site is ready.” Kang Lin, deputy director of the Meteorological Office of Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, said that it was early summer and the cold air was relatively active. , from parachute opening to landing, wind direction and wind speed are important meteorological elements that affect the accuracy of the landing point of the spacecraft’s return capsule.
Deceleration, reverse thrust engine ignition… a series of actions were completed in one go, and the return capsule landed successfully.
Xu Chengcheng, an astronomy enthusiast who came from Nanjing, Jiangsu, more than 2,500 kilometers away, made a special trip to the Dongfeng Landing Site. He squeezed into the front of the crowd and could see the astronauts at a glance. “During the Spring Festival, Fei Junlong showed my Tiangong photography works in the space station.” In recent years, Xu Chengcheng often uses a self-written program to manipulate the astronomical telescope to take clear images of the Chinese space station when it transits. In the photo taken in space, the space station complex has a soft luster and the sun wings are clearly visible.
With the return of astronauts Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming, and Zhang Lutianwai, the first and second batch of active astronauts in my country have all realized their dreams for nine days. At the same time, as the Shenzhou 16 astronauts Zhu Yangzhu and Gui Haichao entered the Chinese space station, the third batch of astronauts appeared in the vast space for the first time.
Lin Xiqiang, spokesman for China‘s manned space program and deputy director of China‘s manned space program office, said that at present, the third batch of Chinese astronauts has completed the established training content and passed the flight qualification assessment, all of which have the ability and conditions to perform flight missions. The selection of the fourth batch of reserve astronauts is also progressing in an orderly manner, and it is planned to complete all the selection work before the end of this year.
“In the future, more and more ‘newcomers’ will be selected as flight crews to continue to carry out manned spaceflight missions and become the backbone of the follow-up missions of my country’s manned spaceflight project.” Lin Xiqiang said.
There is also exciting news that the mission of my country’s manned lunar exploration project to land on the moon has been launched, and it is planned to realize the first Chinese landing on the moon by 2030. The China Manned Space Engineering Office has also fully deployed and carried out various research and construction work, including the development of a new generation of manned launch vehicle (Long March 10), a new generation of manned spacecraft, lunar landers, lunar landing suits and other flight products. Launch site-related test launch facilities and equipment, etc.
There are stars and seas in the eyes, and the future of landing on the moon can be expected.
Perhaps one day, Chinese people will also be able to fly into the universe and appreciate the deep beauty of space, which is even more worth looking forward to.