NASA and SpaceX delay Crew-4 launch

The official crew portrait of SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts representing NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. From left to right, Pilot Robert Hines, Mission Specialists Samantha Cristoforetti and Jessica Watkins, and Commander Kjell Lindgren. Hines, Watkins and Lindgren are NASA astronauts and Cristoforetti is an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut. Credit: NASA

" data-gt-translate-attributes='[{"attribute":"data-cmtooltip", "format":"html"}]'>Nasa and SpaceX are now targeting a 3:52 a.m. EDT launch of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

The teams opted to postpone a possible April 26 launch until later in the week, when space station placement and orbital mechanics are more favorable. Crew-4 will have another launch opportunity on Thursday, April 28, as the weather remains a concern heading into next week.

NASA SpaceX Crew-4 astronaut dry dress rehearsal

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts, left to right, Jessica Watson, Bob Hines and Kjell Lindgren, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti stand in front of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building in the Kennedy Space Center during a dry dress rehearsal April 20, 2022. Named Freedom by the crew of Crew-4, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon will ferry astronauts to the International Space Station as part of SpaceX’s commercial crew program. The NASA. Liftoff will be powered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket. Crew-4 will be the first space flight for Hines and Watkins and the second flight for Lindgren and Cristoforetti. Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

For a Crew-4 launch on Wednesday, April 27, NASA will host a pre-launch press conference call at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25, with the following participants:

  • Steve Stich, Director, Commercial Crew Program, NASA Kennedy
  • Joel Montalbano, Director, International Space Station Program, NASA Johnson
  • Zeb Scoville, Flight Director, Flight Operations Branch, Johnson
  • Jessica Jensen, Vice President, Customer Operations and Integration, SpaceX
  • Frank de Winne, Director, International Space Station Program, ESA
  • Arlena Moses, Launch Weather Officer, US Space Force 45th Weather Squadron

Additional adjustments to the Crew-4 launch date may be required in the event that bad weather prevents an in-time splashdown of the Axiom 1 (Ax-1) mission currently docked at the space station. Ax-1, the first fully private astronaut mission to the station, is now slated to undock from the orbital complex at 6:35 p.m. Saturday April 23 and 1:46 p.m. Sunday April 24 off the coast of Florida. . The crew of Ax-1 and the Dragon spacecraft remain healthy at the station.

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 mission specialist, to the space station for a scientific expedition mission. Astronauts will pilot a new Dragon spacecraft, named Freedom, atop a flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket. After Crew-4 docks, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission is expected to complete a roughly five-day transfer with Crew-4 before undocking from the space station and returning to Earth.

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