NASA and SpaceX Adjust Agency’s Crew-4 Launch Date

Crew-4 astronauts
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts, from left, Jessica Watson, Bob Hines, and Kjell Lindgren, and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti stand outside Kennedy Space Center’s Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building during a dry dress rehearsal on April 20, 2022. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting no earlier than 3:52 a.m. EDT Wednesday, April 27, for 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.

Teams decided to wave off a potential launch opportunity on April 26 until further into the week when space station positioning and orbital mechanics are more favorable. Crew-4 has another launch opportunity available Thursday, April 28, as weather continues to be a watch item heading into next week.

For a Crew-4 launch Wednesday, April 27, NASA will host a prelaunch news teleconference at approximately 9:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, with the following participants:

  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA Kennedy
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA Johnson
  • Zeb Scoville, flight director, Flight Operations Directorate, Johnson
  • Jessica Jensen, vice president, customer operations and integration, SpaceX
  • Frank de Winne, manager, International Space Station Program, ESA
  • Arlena Moses, launch weather officer, U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron

Media may ask questions via phone only. The teleconference audio will stream on nasa.gov/live. For the dial-in number and passcode, please contact the Kennedy newsroom no later than 8:30 p.m. on April 25 at: ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov.

Additional adjustments to the Crew-4 launch date may be necessary in the event inclement weather prevents an on time splashdown of the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) currently docked to the space station. Ax-1, the first all private astronaut mission to the station, now is targeted to undock from the orbital complex at 6:35 p.m. Saturday, April 23, and splashdown at 1:46 p.m. Sunday, April 24, off the coast of Florida. The Ax-1 crew and Dragon spacecraft remain healthy at 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 a mission specialist, to the space station for a science expedition mission. The astronauts will fly a new Dragon spacecraft, named Freedom, atop a flight proven Falcon 9 rocket. Following docking of Crew-4, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 mission is expected to complete an approximate five-day handover with Crew-4 before undocking from the space station and returning to Earth. 

Learn more about Crew-4 by exploring the Commercial Crew Press Kit.

 

Dragon Arrival at LC-39A

Crew-4 Dragon in Hangar
The SpaceX Crew-4 Dragon arrives at Launch Pad 39A hangar. Photo credit: SpaceX

SpaceX’s brand-new Dragon spacecraft – named “Freedom” by the Crew-4 astronauts – arrived at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A today, April 16, after making the journey from SpaceX’s processing facility at nearby Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. After Dragon is mated to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the launch vehicle will roll out to the pad and be raised to the vertical launch position.

Liftoff is scheduled for 5:26 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 23. NASA’s Crew-4 mission is the fourth crew rotation flight on a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket. NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, and Bob Hines will serve as mission commander and pilot, respectively, and NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, will join as mission specialists.

More details about the mission and NASA’s commercial crew program can be found by following the commercial crew blog@commercial_crew on Twitter, and commercial crew on Facebook.

Learn more about station activities by following  @space_station  and @ISS_Research  on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook  and ISS Instagram  accounts.