Just a couple days after the first all-private Axiom AX-1 crew returned from the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft, SpaceX launched Crew-4 astronauts to the ISS on April 27th. It marks SpaceX’s seventh crewed flight and the fourth operational mission under NASA’s Commercial Crew program. Crew-4 NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, shared a ride with European Space Agency (ESA) Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.
Crew-4 is go for launch pic.twitter.com/5ZY2K5VFEo— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 27, 2022
The previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket, identified as first-stage booster B1067-4, launched Crew-4 aboard Crew Dragon Freedom at 3:52 a.m. EDT from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is the first time the company launched a crewed NASA mission with a rocket on its fourth flight. The first-stage booster previously launched the company’s 22nd cargo Commercial Resupply Services mission to the orbiting laboratory (CRS-22) in June 2021, then it launched Crew-3 astronauts to the ISS in November 2021, and it deployed Turkey’s Turksat-5B satellite in December 2021.
"Liftoff! The past few days at Kennedy Space Center have been inspiring and busy with the return of the Axiom crew and now the successful launch of Crew-4 astronauts to the International Space Station," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement. "Aboard station, Kjell, Bob, Jessica and Samantha will carry out research investigations that will help NASA prepare for longer duration stays on the Moon – and eventually Mars. These missions wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated NASA and SpaceX teams here on Earth. Godspeed, Crew-4!"
Liftoff of Falcon 9 and Dragon! pic.twitter.com/sfKAOpBtU6— SpaceX (@SpaceX) April 27, 2022
Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome... The population on the International @Space_Station just grew by four! Watch live as the team on orbit welcomes the newly arrived @SpaceX #Crew4 astronauts, bringing the number of humans now orbiting Earth to 11. https://t.co/V9tEkwjiWw— NASA (@NASA) April 28, 2022
Featured Image Source: NASA & SpaceX