Live coverage of the countdown and launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on NASA’s Crew-4 mission. The Crew-4 mission will carry astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, and Jessica Watkins to the International Space Station.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are heading back on the pad for launch to kick off the second mission of astronauts for SpaceX in less than a month.
The crew will comprise four professional astronauts, who will be heading to join an orbital mission to the International Space Station, including the first Black woman to join the ISS crew.
The mission, which is dubbed Crew-4 will be an opportunity to return to the launches with crews that SpaceX collaborates with NASA following the conclusion of the first private mission towards the station for rich adrenaline junkies on Monday.
Crew-4 is scheduled to launch in the early hours of Wednesday morningat 3:52 a.m. ET precisely and will arrive at the ISS at around 8 p.m. ET the following day.
Onboard Crew-4 will be NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren (who is the commanding officer of the operation), Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, and Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who is flying for the European Space Agency.
The shorter than 40 hours between the end of SpaceX’s only private mission known as AX-1 before the launch of the Crew-4 mission is a first for SpaceX.
NASA’s human spaceflight director, Kathy Leuders, said in a press conference on Tuesday that safety officials were aware that they must take the process “one step at a time.”
“This is the time where you’ve got to rest and get ready to fly and still be watching the hardware and making sure you’re making the right decision,” Leuders explained.
This is everything you need to learn about Crew-4.
What is the significance of this flight?
Watkins will be the only Black woman to accomplish this kind of mission.
While more than 12 Black Americans — including four Black women have been in the outer space region since Guion Bluford was the first person to go into space in 1983, not a single Black woman has had the chance to work and live in space for a long timeframe, as the ISS has allowed over 200 astronauts to accomplish since 2000.
“This is certainly an important milestone, I think, both for our [space] agency and for the country,” Watkins stated at an interview earlier this month. “I think it really is just a tribute to the legacy of the Black women astronauts that have come before me as well as to the exciting future ahead.”
She has a long-standing relationship working for NASA beginning her time there as an intern. she has held positions in NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where she was a part of in the Curiosity Mars Rover.Geologist by training who has studied the surface of Mars.
Watkins Crew mates call her by her name ” Watty.”
NASA’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket Crew-4 another historic mission
Who else is involved in this mission?
The crew of this mission is one of the first missions to have as many women as males. Cristoforetti has previously traveled on the ISS in 2014 was also the only female astronaut in the ESA’s astronaut crew. However, Cristoforetti said to reporters this month that the issue could be “bound to end very soon.”
“We definitely expect to have some great female [ESA] colleagues by the end of the year,” she added.
Cristoforetti is one of the veterans from Cristoforetti, a veteran of the Italian Air Force who’s earned her wings as a fighter pilot, was a member of ESA in the year 2009.
Hines is a veteran of 22 years from the US Air Force, and this will be his first visit into space since being chosen for the NASA astronaut corps in the year 2017.
Lindgren who is the commander of this mission, has been trained in the field of emergency medicine. He worked as an air doctor on Earth at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, supporting other missions of astronauts.
Lindgren was born in Taiwan and spent the majority of his youth in England before making the move in America. United States and attending the U.S. Air Force Academy.
The four astronauts spent months working together and also took the time to engage in some bonding activities outside of school.
Watkins mentioned that they took an excursion on kayaks to Eastern Washington “just to get to spend some time getting to know each other and understanding how we all function … and what makes each of us tick, and I think that’s going to be really crucial.”
“We get along great. It is just such a joy to have these folks on this team,” Lindgren added.
How do they get to space?
The crew will be traveling to the ISS on the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, that has carried out seven crewed missions since it began service in the year 2020.
Although SpaceX created its Crew Dragon as a reusable spacecraft, and three capsules are currently operational, the Crew-4 will be launched on a brand-new spacecraft.
The astronauts can choose the name of their capsule and this group picked Crew Dragon “Freedom.”
Crew Dragon Crew Dragon was developed by SpaceX under an $2.6 billion deal in partnership with NASA under the “Commercial Crew Program.”
The purpose of this program is to shift NASA to a more customer-oriented role and allow private firms to design and build the latest spacecraft for NASA astronauts, while giving the company the right to own the spacecraft.
Since SpaceX is the sole owner of the vehicle It has the power of selling seats anyone it wants, which is why the private mission which SpaceX just completed and a prior space tourism trip in September.
NASA has declared the program to be a huge success and the space agency is using the same contracting process for the various vehicles involved in their efforts to investigate lunar space.
What are they planning to perform in space?
When they arrive Wednesday night passengers will be welcomed by the astronauts currently aboard the ISS which includes three NASA astronauts as well as one ESA astronaut who participated in SpaceX’s Crew-3 mission, as well as three Russian Cosmonauts.
The handover will last for five days. period during which the crew-3 astronauts will assist the crew-4 astronauts adjust prior to their return to their home on its own SpaceX Crew Dragon SpaceX Crew Dragon.
The Crew-4 astronauts will begin working on the various science experiments and maintenance tasks that are to complete. source
“Experiments will include studies on the aging of immune systems, organic material concrete alternatives, and cardiorespiratory effects during and after long-duration exposure to microgravity,” according to NASA. “These are just some of the more than 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations that will take place during their mission.”
Crew-3 is scheduled to be back in space by September, just a few days after SpaceX launches the Crew-5 mission.