Crew-4 mission, a new group of astronauts is preparing to fly to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission has officially cleared its readiness review. The Crew-4 mission is scheduled to Liftoff from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida at 5:26 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 23.
At around 4:30 p.m. EDT, NASA will host a press conference to share the review’s findings. On the agency’s website, you can also listen in real time.
List of people participating in teleconference:
- Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
- Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, Kennedy
- Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station, NASA’s Johnson Space Center
- Zeb Scoville, chief flight director, Flight Operations Directorate, Johnson
- Jared Metter – director, Flight Reliability, SpaceX
- Frank De Winne, program manager, International Space Station, ESA
Who are the Crew-4 mission astronauts?
NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are the Crew-4 mission astronauts. They will be launch SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, called Freedom, for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program’s fourth crew rotation flight.
Source: NASA official website
Launch Schedule of Crew-4 mission
Liftoff is set for Saturday, April 23 at 5:26 a.m. EDT. Crew-4 is the fourth crew rotation flight on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket for NASA. NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines will lead the flight as mission commander and pilot, respectively, while NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will act as mission experts, according to NASA update.
The crew has been training at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center to become comfortable with the SpaceX Dragon craft and the functions they’ll perform on board in preparation for this mission.
The SpaceX Dragon was a class of partially reusable cargo spaceship built by SpaceX (an American private space transportation corporation). SpaceX Dragon also known as Dragon 1 or Cargo Dragon. The company’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle put Dragon into orbit to resupply the International Space Station.
The Dragon spacecraft can transport up to seven people to and from Earth orbit and beyond. Dragon is currently the only spacecraft which is capable of returning back to Earth and the first private spacecraft to transport humans to the International Space Station.
Why SpaceX is called Dragon?
Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, called the spacecraft after Peter, Paul, and Mary’s 1963 song “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” purportedly in reaction to detractors who said his spaceflight ambitions were unrealistic.
What is the NASA Commercial Crew Program(CCP)?
The Commercial Crew Program (CCP) offers commercially operated crew transportation to and from the International Space Station (ISS), as well as crew rotations between the International Space Station program’s expeditions. NASA plans to add Boeing when its Boeing Starliner spacecraft becomes operational after 2022. American aerospace firm SpaceX began offering service in 2020 with the Crew Dragon spacecraft, and NASA plans to add Boeing when its Boeing Starliner spacecraft becomes operational in 2022.
The vendor owns and operates the spacecraft, and NASA receives crew transportation as a commercial service. Each trip can send up to four astronauts to the ISS, with a fifth passenger available as an option. Operational flights take place about once every six months on missions that last about six months. During a mission, a spacecraft remains docked to the ISS, and missions normally overlap by at least a few days. NASA depended on the Soyuz programme to ferry its astronauts to the ISS between the retirement of the Space Shuttle in 2011 and the first operational CCP voyage in 2020.