SpaceX is ready to launch the fourth operational crewed NASA mission to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the Commercial Crew Program, known as Crew-4. The program is dedicated to maintaining rotational crew at the ISS launched from American soil. SpaceX returned human spaceflight capabilities to the United States in 2020, NASA depended on Russia to launch astronauts to the ISS for nearly a decade.
On Wednesday, April 27, SpaceX will launch Crew-4 NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, who will share a ride with European Space Agency (ESA) Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti aboard a brand-new Crew Dragon spacecraft they named ‘Freedom’. "The name celebrates a fundamental human right, and the industry and innovation that emanate from the unencumbered human spirit,” said Lindgren, the commander of the Crew-4 mission.
Meet our @SpaceX #Crew4 before our overnight launch coverage begins at midnight ET (4:00 UTC).— NASA (@NASA) April 26, 2022
The astronauts spent every day for months together preparing for any obstacle—which may just be surviving one another’s bad jokes.
Live launch broadcast: https://t.co/cdxWseYBCZ pic.twitter.com/oBs3FuGYKq
Crew Dragon Freedom will be launched to orbit by a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket at 3:52 a.m. ET from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. You can watch the Crew-4 mission Live in the video linked below starting at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time. The U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron is predicting a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. If all goes as planned, the crew is expected to arrive over 17 hours after launch. Freedom is scheduled to dock at approximately 8:15 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 27.
The Crew-4 mission will be the first commercial crew mission to launch astronauts on a Falcon 9 rocket's fourth flight. Crew-4 will be launched by SpaceX’s first-stage booster identified as B1067, which 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.
“During their time at the orbiting laboratory, the Crew-4 astronauts will conduct over 200 science experiments in areas such as materials science, health technologies, and plant science to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and benefit life on Earth,” said SpaceX.
WATCH IT LIVE!
Featured Image Source: SpaceX & NASA
About the Author
Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo
Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.