A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A during a brief static fire test ahead of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
Today (April 20, 2022), the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Dragon Freedom capsule and Crew-4 astronauts to the International Space Station passed a key milestone ahead of launch. While vertical on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Florida, the rocket’s nine Merlin first-stage engines roared to life for seven seconds, completing the routine but critical integrated static fire test.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is seen on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida during a brief static fire test. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission is the fourth crew rotation mission of the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are scheduled to launch on April 23 at 5:26 a.m. EDT, from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The Crew-4 mission will carry Mission Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Robert Hines, and Mission Specialist Jessica Watkins, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, who will also serve as a mission specialist, to the space station for a six-month science mission.
This is the fourth crew rotation flight for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.