Days after the first private crew docked at the Space Station for a more than week-long mission, Elon Musk’s SpaceX has focused on launching the next group of astronauts to the flying outpost. The Crew-4 mission is scheduled to lift off on April 21 with four astronauts on a new SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Freedom.
Nasa astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency will fly atop a Falcon-9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The four astronauts are currently in quarantine in accordance with mission security guidelines.
“Spending the last two weeks before liftoff in quarantine will help ensure members of Crew-4 are healthy and protect astronauts already on the space station,” NASA said in a blog update. . The space agency added that spending the last two weeks before liftoff in quarantine will help ensure Crew-4 members are healthy and protect astronauts already on the space station.
“Lindgren, Hines, Watkins and Cristoforetti will be tested twice for the virus as a precaution, along with anyone who comes into direct and close contact with the crew,” the US space agency said.
SpaceX plans to perform one launch per week in 2022. (Photo: SpaceX)
The Crew-4 mission is the fourth crew rotation flight to the ISS under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Although this is the first flight for astronauts Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins, astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Samantha Cristoforetti have been to space before.
The crew is scheduled for an extended stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, living and working among what is expected to be a crew of seven.
Prior to their flight, the crew named their spacecraft Freedom to pay tribute to Freedom 7, the United States’ first manned spaceflight, and to the hard work and ingenuity of those involved with Commercial Crew. today to usher in a new era of manned spaceflight. .
SpaceX has been busier than ever as it expands its space exploration portfolio With one launch per week so far in 2022, the Elon Musk-led company has already become the biggest private player in the industry. The company is launching astronauts from US soil from the Demo-2 mission in 2020.
Last week, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket rocketed the Dragon Endeavor spacecraft carrying Ax-1 crew members Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe into orbit. The crew will spend more than a week conducting scientific research, outreach and business activities on the space station.