The Flight Readiness Review for NASA‘s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a 5:26 am EDT liftoff on Saturday, April 23, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida. The date adjustment provides mission teams time to complete final prelaunch processing for the Crew-4 mission following the April 8 launch of Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) to the space station.
Mission teams continue to monitor operational timelines with ongoing space station activities, including upcoming spacewalks and the return of Ax-1 crew members. The weather forecast remains a watch item to ensure safe recovery and launch operations for crew missions. The Crew-4 date also provides three consecutive launch opportunities with backups on Sunday, April 24, and Monday, April 25.
The agency’s flight readiness review was held on Friday, April 15, at Kennedy. The review focused on the preparedness of SpaceX’s crew transportation system, the International Space Station, and its international partners to support the flight, as well as the certification of flight readiness.
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 Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Freedom, on a flight proven Falcon 9 rocket.
Crew-3 astronauts will splash down off the coast of Florida following a short handover with Crew-4 on the space station.
arrived at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A, 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.
Before returning to Earth in the fall of 2022, the crew will spend several months conducting science and maintenance aboard the orbiting laboratory.