NASA and SpaceX are now aiming for a 3:52 a.m. EDT 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 on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
Teams opted to postpone a prospective April 26 launch until later in the week, when space station placement and orbital mechanics are more favorable. Crew-4 will have another launch opportunity on Thursday, April 28, as the weather remains a concern 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
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 the 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.