Wednesday, April 27, 2022

NASA's SpaceX Crew-4 Launch to the International Space Station

NASA's SpaceX Crew-4 Launch to the International Space Station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti onboard, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission is the fourth crew rotation mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Lindgren, Hines, Watkins, and Cristoforetti launched at 3:52 a.m. ET from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center to begin a six month mission onboard the orbital outpost.

Samantha is the third ESA astronaut to travel to the orbital outpost in a Crew Dragon. During the journey she and Jessica will serve as Mission Specialists. Kjell is Crew-4 Commander and Bob is Crew-4 Pilot.

Upon arrival, Crew-4 will be greeted by the Space Station’s current crew—including ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. Samantha and Matthias will enjoy a brief handover in orbit before he returns to Earth with Crew-3.

Samantha first flew to space in 2014 for her Italian Space Agency ASI-sponsored mission Futura. Her ESA space mission, known as Minerva, will officially begin once she reaches the Station.

Throughout her mission, Samantha will hold the role of US Orbital Segment (USOS) lead, taking responsibility for all operations within the US, European, Japanese and Canadian modules and components of the Space Station. She will support around 35 European and many more international experiments in orbit.

For more about Samantha and her Minerva mission, visit the Minerva mission page:

Caption Credit: NASA/ESA

Image Credit: ESA - S. Corvaja

Image Date: April 27, 2022

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