May 19, 2022

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NASA and SpaceX Delay Crew-4 launch to the International Space Station

NASA and SpaceX Delay Crew-4 launch to the International Space Station

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts participate in a training session at SpaceX Headquarters in Hawthorne, California. 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; ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Crew-4 mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti from Italy. credit: NASA

Flight readiness review for NASA‘s SpaceX The Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station has ended, and teams are advancing toward liftoff at 5:26 a.m. EDT on Saturday, April 23, from Launch Complex 39A of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The date adjustment provides time for mission teams to complete the final preprocessing of the Crew-4 mission after the April 8 launch of the Axiom 1 (Ax-1) mission to the space station.

Steve Stitch, NASA Commercial Crew Program Director

Steve Stitch, Director of the Commercial Crew Program at the Kennedy Space Center, participates in the flight readiness review of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission at Florida Spaceport on April 15, 2022. International partners also participated. NASA and SpaceX FRR mission managers convened to confirm that 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 Launch Complex 39A on April 23, 2022, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are scheduled to take off at 5:26 a.m. EDT. Credit: NASA/Kim Shevlet

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

Kathy Lueders is associate director of NASA's Space Operations Directorate

Kathy Luders, associate administrator, Directorate of Space Operations, NASA Headquarters, participates in the flight readiness review of 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 conducted Friday, April 15, at Kennedy. The review focused on the readiness of SpaceX’s crew transport system, the International Space Station, and its international partners to support the flight, as well as certification of flight readiness.

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The Crew-4 flight will transport NASA astronauts such as Jill Lindgren, mission commander, Robert Haynes, pilot, and Jessica Watkins, mission specialist and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who will serve as mission specialist, to the space station for a science mission mission. Astronauts will fly a new Crew Dragon spacecraft, called Freedom, aboard a flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket.

Crew 3 astronauts will blast off off the coast of Florida after a short delivery with Crew-4 on the space station.

He arrived at Launch Complex 39A of the Kennedy Space Center, after making the flight from SpaceX’s processing facility at nearby Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida. After the Dragon is mated to a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the launch vehicle will launch to the platform and be lifted to the vertical launch position.

SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the International Space Station

In this illustration, the 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 doing science and maintenance aboard the orbiting laboratory.