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    NASA and SpaceX Delay Crew-4 Launch to International Space Station

    NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts participate in a training session at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA. From left to right: NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 mission specialist Jessica Watkins; NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 pilot Robert “Bob” Hines; NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 commander Kjell Lindgren; and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Crew-4 mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy. Credit: NASA

    The Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a 5:26 a.m. EDT liftoff on Saturday, April 23, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida. The date adjustment provides mission teams time to complete final prelaunch processing for the Crew-4 mission following the April 8 launch of Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) to the space station.

    Steve Stich NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager

    Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program at Kennedy Space Center, participates in a Flight Readiness Review for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission at the Florida spaceport on April 15, 2022. International partners also participated. NASA and SpaceX mission managers held the FRR to confirm the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are ready for launch. Crew-4 is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A on April 23, 2022, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Liftoff of the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft is targeted for 5:26 a.m. EDT. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

    Mission teams continue to monitor operational timelines with ongoing space station activities, including upcoming spacewalks and the return of Ax-1 crew members. The weather forecast remains a watch item to ensure safe recovery and launch operations for crew missions. The Crew-4 date also provides three consecutive launch opportunities with backups on Sunday, April 24, and Monday, April 25.

    Kathy Lueders NASA Space Operations Mission Directorate Associate Administrator

    Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, participates in a Flight Readiness Review for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 15, 2022. Credit: NASA

    The agency’s flight readiness review was held on Friday, April 15, at Kennedy. The review focused on the preparedness of SpaceX’s crew transportation system, the International Space Station, and its international partners to support the flight, as well as the certification of flight readiness.

    The Crew-4 flight will carry NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, mission commander, Robert Hines, pilot, and Jessica Watkins, mission specialist and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who will serve as a mission specialist, to the space station for a science expedition mission. The astronauts will fly a new Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Freedom, on a flight proven Falcon 9 rocket.

    Crew-3 astronauts will splash down off the coast of Florida following a short handover with Crew-4 on the space station.

    arrived at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A, after making the journey from SpaceX’s processing facility at nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. After Dragon is mated to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the launch vehicle will roll out to the pad and be raised to the vertical launch position.

    SpaceX Crew Dragon Spacecraft Approaches International Space Station

    In this illustration, a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the International Space Station for docking. Credit: NASA/SpaceX

    Before returning to Earth in the fall of 2022, the crew will spend several months conducting science and maintenance aboard the orbiting laboratory.

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