The fourth crew of NASA’s Commercial Crew program is ready to head to the Space Station. Launching on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, Crew 4 will begin their mission in space to conduct microgravity research, test student hardware, and carry out medical research.
Crew 4 is scheduled for an early morning liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at NASA Kennedy on Wednesday, April 27. The launch is at 2:52 a.m. CDT, but coverage begins at 11 pm CDT tonight, Tuesday, April 26th.
Launch coverage will be provided by both NASA and SpaceX. NASA will begin coverage at 11 pm CDT with prelaunch activities on NASA TV, live on the agency’s website, and via the NASA app. SpaceX is also providing live coverage on their website, Spacex.com, and it also goes live at 11 pm CDT.
This mission makes up the fourth commercial crew of astronauts headed to the International Space Station onboard Crew Dragon, a spacecraft provided by commercial launch company, SpaceX. Earlier this month, SpaceX launched a crew entirely made up of private astronauts, the Axiom-1 mission, whose return to Earth yesterday has cleared the way for the Crew 4 launch.
The four astronauts making up Crew 4 include NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins, Kjell Lindgren, and Bob Hines. Joining them is ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti from Italy.
As part of their mission to space, the astronauts will carry out dozens of specialized science experiments, conduct research related to medical technology and long term space exploration, and conduct spacewalks to increase the lifespan and functionality of the ISS.