JIUQUAN, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming Shenzhou-13 crewed space mission will include two or three extravehicular activities, installation of important devices for mechanical arms as well as various sci-tech experiments and applications, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Thursday.
One of the main objectives of the mission is to test key technologies for assembly and construction of China's space station, such as module transfer supported by the robotic arm and manual remote operation, said Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the CMSA, at a press conference held at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
The astronauts will perform two or three extravehicular activities during the mission to install the dual-arm connector, the device to link the big and small mechanical arms, as well as suspension device, Lin said.
The mission will further verify the health, living and working support technologies for astronauts' six-month stay in orbit, he said.
The astronauts will also carry out sci-tech experiments and applications in fields such as space medicine and micro-gravity physics, as well as diversified public science education activities, he said.
The mission will achieve a comprehensive assessment of the functional performance of various project systems for carrying out space station tasks and the compatibility between systems, he added.
After entering orbit, the spaceship will conduct fast automated rendezvous and docking with the radial port of the in-orbit core space station module Tianhe, forming a complex with the core module and the cargo craft Tianzhou-2 and Tianzhou-3.
The astronauts aboard Shenzhou-13 will be stationed in the core module, working and living according to the same timetable as on Earth, Lin said. After six months, they will return to the Dongfeng landing site in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, landing in the return capsule.
Lin said that after the Shenzhou-13 mission and a comprehensive evaluation of the whole system, the CMSA will carry out another six missions to complete the construction of the space station.
It will first launch the Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft and then the Shenzhou-14 crewed spaceship, with Tianzhou-4 to deliver supplies for the Shenzhou-14 crew.
During the Shenzhou-14 crew's stay in orbit, the Wentian and the Mengtian lab modules will be launched to dock with the Tianhe core module. The construction of the three-module combination will be completed before the end of 2022.
The Tianzhou-5 cargo spacecraft and the Shenzhou-15 spaceship will then be launched to begin the in-orbit rotation of the crew in the space station.
Lin added that after the six missions, the China Space Station Telescope will be launched into the same orbit as the space station and carry out a sky survey mission independently. The telescope will make short dockings at the space station for replenishment and maintenance.
The Shenzhou-13 crewed spaceship will be launched at 12:23 a.m. Saturday (Beijing Time) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. Enditem