NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission is set to launch early Wednesday morning, carrying four astronauts to the International Space Station onboard Crew Dragon C212 Freedom. The launch—Freedom’s first—is scheduled to lift off at 3:52 a.m. EDT, and will be carried to space by SpaceX Falcon 9 booster B1067 on its fourth flight.
Making up the crew are three NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins as well as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. For Hines and Watkins, this will be their inaugural flight to space. Lindgren and Cristoforetti both return for their second time to the ISS.
Commander Kjell Lindgren previously worked at the space station in 2015, spending 141 days as a flight engineer for Expedition 44/45. Lindgren is trained in emergency medicine and previously worked as a NASA flight surgeon and crew surgeon. Lindgren will serve as an Expedition 67 flight engineer while aboard the station.
Robert Hines serves as the pilot of Crew Dragon Freedom. Once onboard the ISS, he will serve as an Expedition 67 flight engineer. Prior to his astronaut selection in 2017, Hines has served over 22 years in the U.S. Air force as a test pilot, fighter pilot, and flight instructor.
Jessica Watkins is a mission specialist for Crew-4. Prior to serving as a NASA astronaut, Watkings was a team collaborator for the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Her research focused on Martian geology. Upon arrival, Watkins will become a flight engineer for Expedition 67.
ESA Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti also serves as a mission specialist for Crew-4 and flight engineer for Expedition 67. This is her second flight to space, with her first spending over 150 days with Expedition 42/43. Before her time as an astronaut, Cristoforetti was a lieutenant and fighter pilot for the Italian Air Force.
Commander Lindgren, Pilot Hines, and Mission Specialists Cristoforetti and Watkins are expected to dock with the space station at approximately 7:15 PM EDT on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Crew-4 will return to Earth in fall of this year.
During their stay, these astronauts will conduct new scientific research on a variety of materials science, health technologies, and plant science experiments. Over 200 science experiments and technology demonstrations are planned during the Crew-4 mission.
NASA TV and social media Coverage will begin at 12:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.