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.

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

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Ax-1 Departure and Spacewalk Preps Wrap Up Work Week

The full quarter Moon is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 261 miles above the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida on April 9, 2022.
The full quarter Moon is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 261 miles above the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida on April 9, 2022.

The Expedition 67 crew is gearing up for the departure of the first private astronaut mission and another spacewalk at the International Space Station. There was still time onboard the orbiting lab on Friday for biomedical science to understand how the human body adapts to microgravity.

NASA’s station Commander Tom Marshburn spent some time on Friday assisting the four outgoing Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew members. The first private space quartet is getting ready to end a two-week stay at the station this weekend. Ax-1 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria will board the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour with Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe and close the hatch at 4:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday. The four Ax-1 astronauts will then undock at 6:35 p.m. from the Harmony module’s space-facing port for splashdown on Sunday off the coast of Florida.

The next mission event planned at the station is the fifth spacewalk of the year for more maintenance and upgrades at the station. Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev will partner up once again on April 28 to continue activating the European robotic arm (ERA) attached to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module.

The duo joined their fellow cosmonaut Sergey Korsakov on Friday morning and reviewed the tasks planned for the upcoming spacewalk. That excursion will see the ERA’s first motion setting up the manipulator for future robotic activities on the station’s Russian segment. The trio then spent the rest of Friday on a variety of inspection and maintenance tasks.

Flight Engineers Kayla Barron of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA (European Space Agency) processed blood and urine samples during the morning for later analysis. NASA Flight Engineer Raja Chari worked on life support gear then joined Marshburn for pre-departure activities inside the Dragon Endurance crew ship.


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

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Station Crew Busy with Research as Managers Work Ax-1, Crew-4 Missions

The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship is pictured from a window aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship.
The SpaceX Dragon Endurance crew ship is pictured from a window aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship.

The four private astronauts from Axiom Space are now due to depart the International Space Station on Saturday night and return to Earth the next day. Four commercial crew astronauts are also looking ahead to their mission aboard the orbiting lab set to begin after the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew departs.

NASA, SpaceX and Axiom Space are planning for the Ax-1 crew to undock from the station inside the Dragon Endeavour crew ship on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. EDT. Ax-1 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria will lead Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe back to Earth inside Endeavour for a splash down at 1:46 p.m. on Sunday off the coast of Florida.

The SpaceX Crew-4 mission awaits its launch date as mission managers monitor weather conditions at the Ax-1 splashdown site and review mission data after Endeavour’s return. The Falcon 9 rocket that will the launch the Crew-4 astronauts to space inside the Dragon Freedom crew ship successfully fired its nine Merlin engines on Wednesday during its static fire test. In the meantime, Crew-4 Commander Kjell Lindgren with Pilot Robert Hines and Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti, continue training for their mission while in quarantine at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Operations on the station continue normally, as the four Expedition 67 astronauts worked on an array of space research on Thursday. Commander Tom Marshburn of NASA joined ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer for muscle measurements and ultrasound scans. The duo contributed to the Myotones human research experiment to understand how weightlessness affects the biochemical properties of muscles. NASA Flight Engineers Kayla Barron and Raja Chari collected blood and urine samples and stowed them in science freezer for future analysis for more insights into spaceflight’s impact on the human body. The quartet also checked out their Dragon spacesuits as they look ahead to their departure inside the Dragon Endurance soon after the Crew-4 astronauts begin their station mission.

The three cosmonauts living and working on the orbital lab focused on their suite of science and upkeep tasks. Veteran cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev studied piloting techniques that may be used on future planetary or robotic missions. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Denis Matveev attached a heart monitor to himself then photographed the condition of Russian module windows. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov pursued cardiac research during the morning before working on Russian life support and photography gear.

Station Crew Awaits Ax-1 Departure and Crew-4 Launch

International Space Station Configuration. Six spaceships are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Dragons Endurance and Endeavour; the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter; and Russia's Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and the Progress 79 and 80 resupply ships.
International Space Station Configuration. Six spaceships are parked at the space station including the SpaceX Dragons Endurance and Endeavour; the Northrop Grumman Cygnus space freighter; and Russia’s Soyuz MS-21 crew ship and the Progress 79 and 80 resupply ships.

The integrated NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX teams have agreed on a plan for the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew to undock from the International Space Station at 8:35 p.m. EDT Saturday, April 23, for a splashdown off the coast of Florida about 1:46 p.m. Sunday, April 24. The decision was made based on the best weather for splashdown of the first private astronaut mission to visit the International Space Station and the return trajectory required to bring the crew and the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour spacecraft back to Earth safely.

NASA will provide live coverage of departure activities beginning at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, April 23, with hatch closure targeted for 6:30 p.m. Coverage will resume at 8:15 p.m. for the undocking. Teams will continue to monitor weather at the splashdown sites prior to undocking to ensure conditions are acceptable for a safe recovery of the Ax-1 astronauts and Dragon spacecraft.

NASA and Axiom mission planning prepared for the possibility of additional time on station for the private astronauts, and there are sufficient provisions for all 11 crew members aboard the space station. The Ax-1 crew continues to work through previously planned mission activities. The Ax-1 crew and Dragon spacecraft remain healthy.

The departure of Dragon Endeavour from the space station will clear the docking port for the arrival of Dragon Freedom and NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts. The earliest potential launch opportunity for the Crew-4 mission is 4:15 a.m. Tuesday, April 26, with additional opportunities Wednesday, April 27, and Thursday, April 28. These launch opportunities are undergoing a more detailed program review to ensure they align with integrated operational timelines. The teams want to provide a two-day gap after Ax-1 return for data reviews from splashdown and to prepare for the Crew-4 launch, including the staging of recovery assets.

The Crew-4 astronauts spent last night at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida rehearsing the countdown to their launch inside the SpaceX Dragon Freedom, the company’s newest crew ship. Overnight, Crew-4 Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Robert Hines with Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti, put on their pressure suits and entered their vehicle conducting a successful dry dress rehearsal. The Falcon 9 rocket, with the Freedom perched atop, stands at Launch Complex 39A.

Expedition 67 crewmates Raja Chari and Tom Marshburn, who are also the SpaceX Crew-3 commander and pilot respectively, spent a little time on Wednesday with their upcoming departure activities. The pair, along with Kayla Barron of NASA and Matthias Maurer of ESA, will wait for the arrival of their Crew-4 replacements before returning to Earth a few days later inside the Dragon Endurance vehicle. The four astronauts had a light-duty day on Wednesday scheduling in some housecleaning tasks.

Over in the Russian segment of the station, cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev wrapped up their post-spacewalk activities today stowing their tools and discussing the excursion with specialists on the ground. The duo kicked off a series of spacewalks on April 18 to configure the European robotic arm for operations on the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. Roscosmos Flight Engineer Sergey Korsakov started his day with electronics and communications maintenance before studying future spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques in the afternoon.

NASA, Axiom Space, SpaceX Wave Off Private Astronaut Mission Undocking

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship is pictured docked to the Harmony module

NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX waved off the undocking opportunity of Axiom Mission 1 from the International Space Station on Tuesday, April 19 due to unfavorable weather conditions for return. The integrated NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX teams are continuing to assess the next best opportunity for return of the first private astronaut mission to the orbiting laboratory based on weather conditions and space station operations.

Ax-1 Crew Preps for Departure as Crew-4 Mission Nears Launch

The Expedition 67 crew said farewell to the Axiom Mission 1 crew today ahead of their departure planned for Tuesday night.
The Expedition 67 crew said farewell to the Axiom Mission 1 crew today ahead of their departure planned for Tuesday night.

Commander Tom Marshburn of NASA joined his six Expedition 67 flight engineers and held a farewell ceremony for the four-member Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crew on Tuesday morning. At the same time back on Earth, four SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts arrived at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to prepare for their launch to the International Space Station this weekend.

Watch the Axiom Mission 1 farewell ceremony on YouTube.

Marshburn called down to Mission Control today to recognize the contribution the four Ax-1 private astronauts have made to human spaceflight. The private quartet then spoke about the research and education events they conducted and thanked the Expedition 67 crew for hosting and guiding them during their 10-day stay on the station. Ax-1 Commander Michael Lopez-Alegria will lead Pilot Larry Connor and Mission Specialists Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe back to Earth inside the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour. They will undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing port at 10 p.m. EDT today live on NASA TV on NASA’s website and the app. The foursome will splashdown off the coast of Florida on Wednesday afternoon.

The current seven-member Expedition 67 crew will sleep in on Wednesday following the late night departure of the Ax-1 crew. The four astronauts and three cosmonauts will get right back to work on Thursday with more science and maintenance. Marshburn and NASA Flight Engineers Raja Chari and Kayla Barron along with ESA (European Space Agency) Flight Engineer Matthias Maurer will also check out their Crew Dragon suits ahead of their departure aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endurance in a couple of weeks. Roscosmos Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev, and Sergey Korsakov will tend to their complement of Russian space research and lab upkeep tasks.

The station will stay at a seven-member crew status for just a few days until the arrival of the SpaceX Crew-4 mission. Four commercial crew astronauts representing NASA and ESA are scheduled to launch at 5:26 a.m. EDT on Saturday from Kennedy inside the SpaceX Dragon Freedom crew ship and dock to the same port vacated by the Ax-1 mission on Sunday at 6 a.m. The quartet commanded by NASA’s Kjell Lindgren, with Pilot Robert Hines and Mission Specialists Jessica Watkins of NASA and ESA’s Samantha Cristoforetti, will live and work aboard the orbiting lab for just over four-and-a-half months. The Crew-4 astronauts will become Expedition 67 flight engineers after they open the hatches and enter the space station.


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

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Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk to Set Up Robotic Arm

Spacewalkers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev configure new robotic arm components on the Nauka multiupurpose laboratory module.
Spacewalkers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev configure new robotic arm components on the Nauka multiupurpose laboratory module.

Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev of Roscosmos concluded their spacewalk at 5:37 p.m. EDT today after 6 hours and 37 minutes.

Artemyev and Matveev completed their major objectives for today in which they installed and connected a control panel for the European robotic arm, a 37-foot-long manipulator system mounted to the recently arrived Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. They also removed protective covers from the arm and installed handrails on Nauka. The arm will be used to move spacewalkers and payloads around the Russian segment of the station.

This was the fourth spacewalk in Artemyev’s career, and the first for Matveev. It will be the fourth spacewalk at the station in 2022 and the 249th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.

During the next Russian spacewalk scheduled for Thursday, April 28, the duo will jettison thermal blankets used to protect the arm during its July 2021 launch with Nauka. They will also flex the arm’s joints, release launch restraints, and monitor the arm’s ability to use two grapple fixtures.

Additional spacewalks are planned to continue outfitting the European robotic arm and to activate Nauka’s airlock for future spacewalks.


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

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Axiom Mission 1: Dragon Endeavour Departure Postponed

The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour carrying four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts approaches the International Space Station on April 9, 2022, less than a day after launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Pictured above Earth's horizon is the first quarter Moon.
The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour carrying four Axiom Mission 1 astronauts approaches the International Space Station on April 9, 2022, less than a day after launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Mission Control has informed the Expedition 67 and Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) crews aboard the International Space Station that because of unfavorable weather at the splashdown location for recovery of the Dragon Endeavour and the Ax-1 crew, the integrated operations team at NASA, Axiom Space, and SpaceX has postponed the spacecraft’s planned departure from the orbiting laboratory.

Weather permitting, the four-member private astronaut crew now is targeted to undock at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, to begin the journey home with splashdown off the coast of Florida no earlier than approximately 3:24 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 20.

NASA coverage of the farewell ceremony will remain as previously scheduled, and the updated NASA Ax-1 return coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):

Tuesday, April 19

  • 7 a.m. – Coverage begins for farewell ceremony
  • 7:45 p.m. – Coverage begins for hatch closure at approximately 8 p.m.
  • 9:45 p.m. – Coverage begins for undocking at about 10 p.m.

Teams will continue to monitor weather at the splashdown sites prior to undocking to ensure conditions are acceptable for a safe recovery of the Dragon spacecraft and Ax-1 astronauts. If needed for any reason, there are additional opportunities for the crew’s departure from the space station on Wednesday, April 20.


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

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Two Cosmonauts Exit Station and Begin Spacewalk

Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov are pictured during a spacewalk in 2014 outside the space station's Russian segment.
Cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov are pictured during a spacewalk in 2014 outside the space station’s Russian segment.

Expedition 67 Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev of Roscosmos began Russian spacewalk 52 at 11:01 a.m. EDT to activate a new robotic arm attached to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module at the International Space Station by opening the hatch of the Poisk docking compartment airlock.

Artemyev is wearing a Russian Orlan spacesuit with red stripes. Matveev will wear a spacesuit with blue stripes. This is the fourth spacewalk in Artemyev’s career, and the first for Matveev. It will be the fourth spacewalk at the station in 2022 and the 249th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.

Coverage of the spacewalk continues on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

The duo’s primary tasks for today’s spacewalk are to install and connect a control panel for the European robotic arm, a 37-foot-long manipulator system mounted to the recently arrived Nauka. They will also remove protective covers from the arm and install handrails on Nauka. The arm will be used to move spacewalkers and payloads around the Russian segment of the station.


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

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Expedition 64 Trio Back On Earth After 185-Day Mission

The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft just before landing in Kazakhstan on April 17th, 2021. Credit: NASA TV

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos landed on Earth at 12:55 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 17 in Kazakhstan. The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft at 9:34 p.m.

After post-landing medical checks, the crew will split up with Rubins returning to her home in Houston, while the cosmonauts fly back to their training base in Star City, Russia.

Remaining aboard the station is the seven-person crew of Expedition 65, with new station commander Shannon Walker of NASA, NASA astronauts Victor GloverMichael Hopkins, and Mark Vande Hei, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

Later this month, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 members – NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet – will join the Expedition 65 members aboard the station. Crew-2 will be the second long-duration mission to fly as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, continuing to provide the capability of regularly launching humans from American soil.

In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed a 20-year milestone of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique technological demonstrations and research that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars while also improving life on Earth. To date, 243 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory that has hosted nearly 3,000 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries and areas.

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