SpaceX rocket launches Crew-4 Astronauts to International Space Station
Updated: Apr 30, 2022
Freedom soars!, as its carrying four astronauts into orbit
27 April 2022 NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts are in orbit following their launch to the International Space Station at 03:52:47 EDT (07:52:47 UTC) Wednesday, April 27, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is the first flight of the Dragon “Freedom” spacecraft and the fourth flight of the first stage of Falcon 9 B1067, which previously launched the CRS-22, Crew-3 and Turksat 5B. After the stages were separated, Falcon 9's first stage 'core' landed on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship, stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.
Falcon 9 propelled the Dragon spacecraft into orbit carrying Mission Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, Mission Specialist Jessica Watkins, of NASA, and Mission Specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of ESA (European Space Agency). The crew will conduct a science expedition in microgravity aboard the space station.
“Liftoff! The past few days at Kennedy Space Center have been inspiring, juggling with the return of the Axiom crew and now the successful launch of Crew-4 astronauts to the International Space Station,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Aboard the station, Kjell, Hines, 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!” This is the fifth SpaceX flight with NASA astronauts – including the Demo-2 test flight in 2020 to the space station – as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
“It gives me great pleasure to see the successful launch of Samantha Cristoforetti and her Crew-4 (The third commercial crew mission to fly an ESA astronaut) colleagues. Samantha will take over from Matthias Maurer and continue to represent Europe and support European experiments aboard the space station throughout her mission,” says ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.