June 28, 2022

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NASA and SpaceX delay the launch of Crew-4 to the International Space Station

NASA and SpaceX delay the launch of Crew-4 to the International Space Station

Flight readiness review for Container‘s SpaceX The Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station has ended and its crews are headed for liftoff at 5:26 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 23 from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The date adjustment provides time for mission teams to complete the final preprocessing of the Crew-4 mission after the April 8 launch of the Axiom 1 (Ax-1) mission to the space station.

Steve Stitch, director of the Commercial Crew Program at the Kennedy Space Center, participates in the flight readiness review of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission in Spaceport Florida on April 15, 2022. Partners have also participated internationally. NASA and SpaceX FRR mission managers met to confirm that the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are ready for launch. Crew-4 is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station from Kennedy Launch Complex 39A on April 23, 2022, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are scheduled to lift off at 5:26 a.m. EDT. Credit: NASA/Kim Shevlet

Mission teams continue to monitor operational schedules with ongoing space station activities, including upcoming spacewalks and the return of Ax-1 crew members. Weather forecasting remains a control to ensure the safe recovery and launch of crew missions. The Crew-4 date also offers three consecutive launch opportunities with backups on Sunday, April 24th and Monday, April 25th.

Kathy Luders is the associate administrator for NASA's Directorate of Space Operations.

Kathy Luders, associate administrator, Directorate of Space Operations, NASA Headquarters, participates in a flight readiness review for the SpaceX Crew-4 mission at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on April 15, 2022. Credit: NASA

The agency’s flight readiness review was conducted Friday, April 15, at Kennedy. The review focused on the readiness of the crew transport system at SpaceX, the International Space Station and its international partners to support the flight, as well as certification of flight readiness.

The Crew-4 flight will transport NASA astronauts including Jill Lindgren, mission commander, Robert Haynes, pilot, and Jessica Watkins, mission specialist and ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who will serve as mission specialist, to the space station for a science mission. . Astronauts will fly a new Crew Dragon spacecraft, called Freedom, aboard a flight-tested Falcon 9 rocket.

The Crew 3 astronauts will blast off off the coast of Florida after a brief landing with Crew 4 on the space station.

It arrived at Kennedy Space Center launch complex 39A after making the flight from SpaceX’s processing facility at nearby Cape Canaveral Space Station in Florida. After the Dragon is docked in a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, the launch vehicle will take off on the platform and rise to a vertical launch position.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the International Space Station

In this illustration, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft approaches the International Space Station to dock. Credit: NASA/SpaceX

Before returning to Earth in the fall of 2022, the crew will spend several months in science and maintenance aboard the orbiting laboratory.

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