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NASA and SpaceX launching the 4th long term operational crew - Crew4 mission to the ISS

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

SpaceX's 5th Spacecraft; Dragon 'Freedom' will make its first flight, scheduled for 3:52 a.m. EDT (0752 UTC).

Crew-4 astronauts Jessica Watkins, Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Samantha Cristoforetti on boarding Crew Dragon "Freedom." (Image credit: SpaceX)

NASA and SpaceX plan for the launch of the Crew-4 aka USCV- 4 for the International Space Station's Expedition-67 mission. The Falcon 9 FT BL5 rocket booster serial number B1067.4 is due to lift off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The teams have decided to delay a potential launch opportunity on April 26 until later this week, when the space station's relative position to KSC and orbital mechanics are more favorable. Crew-4, using the Crew Dragon C212 "Freedom" spacecraft, has another launch opportunity available Thursday, April 28, as the weather remains a critical concern on the week's schedule.

Crew-4 Infographic, by S.I and HDE

The Freedom spacecraft is due to dock in the PMA-3 / IDA-3 compartment of the American segment; Harmony Module of the International Space Station on April 28 at 01:30:00 UTC; then the C210 “Endurance” spacecraft, with the Crew-3 mission, expected to undock no earlier than April 30 at 22:00:00 UTC. Crew-4 will carry NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, mission commander, Robert Hines, pilot, and Jessica Watkins, mission specialist; and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy, who will serve as a mission specialist. After Crew-4 docks, the Crew-3 mission is expected to complete a nearly five-day transition with Crew-4 before undocking from the space station and returning to Earth. The mission of Crew-4's four crew will last about six months.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule that will fly the Crew-4 astronaut mission poised on the pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on April 20, 2022. (Image credit: SpaceX)

The 45th Weather Squadron of the US Space Force predicts a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions in the launchpad area for the lift-off of the Crew-4 mission based on Falcon 9 v1.2 FT Block launch weather criteria 5. The main weather concerns for the launch area are cumulus clouds and flying according to precipitation rules. The teams will also monitor weather conditions for both the spaceport and the downrange corridor path of the Crew Dragon to ISS.

Crew-4 / ISS Expedition-67/68 mission.

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren (Credit: NASA)

Kjell Lindgren is the spacecraft and mission commander, responsible for all phases of the flight from launch to re-entry, and will serve as the Expedition 67 flight engineer aboard the station. This will be his second spaceflight since becoming an astronaut in 2009. In 2015, he spent 141 days aboard the station as a flight engineer for Expedition 44/45. Certified in emergency medicine, he previously worked at Johnson Space Center in Houston as a flight surgeon supporting space station training and operations and served as an assistant surgeon for the STS-130 shuttle flight and Expedition 24. Lindgren was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and spent most of his childhood in England before graduating from the US Air Force Academy.