The next crew of astronauts heading to the space station …
An update on our Artemis I mega Moon rocket and spacecraft …
And celebrating our home planet … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Mission to the Space Station
On April 18, the astronauts of our SpaceX Crew-4 mission arrived at our Kennedy Space Center to prepare for their launch to the International Space Station. NASA’s Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins, along with Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency (ESA) are excited about their scientific expedition to the station.
“We’ve been training for many, many months and we’re starting to – we’re seeing all of those boxes getting checked off. And it’s very exciting now to have this box checked off. We’re here at Kennedy Space Center, looking forward to our launch here in the very near future.”—Kjell Lindgren, NASA Astronaut
The mission is the fourth crew rotation flight to the station on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Options Under Review for Next Artemis I Wet Dress Rehearsal
NASA is reviewing schedules and options to conduct the next wet dress rehearsal test of our Space Launch System or SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft at our Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The agency has decided to roll the Artemis I mega Moon rocket and spacecraft back to the Vehicle Assembly Building to replace a valve and repair a leak, while an off-site supplier of gaseous nitrogen, used for the test, makes upgrades to their systems. You can follow NASA’s Artemis blog for status updates on the test at: blogs.nasa.gov/artemis.
NASA Celebrates Earth Day with Live and Online Events
In celebration of Earth Day, we hosted a free, public event at Union Station in Washington, D.C. The 3-day event, which kicked off on April 22, featured information about NASA science, live demonstrations, and other family-friendly activities. In conjunction with this in-person event, we also hosted Earth Day celebrations online that began with live events on April 22. The online activities will continue to be available on-demand through May 2. This includes some content that is also available in Spanish. Learn more at nasa.gov/earthday.
Grammy-winning recording artist Eddie Vedder made a special long-distance phone call to the International Space Station (ISS), in celebration of Earth Day. Orbiting more than 250 miles (402 kilometers) above Earth aboard the ISS, NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, and Mark Vande Hei, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, have enjoyed a unique view of our planet. They share their thoughts on having a front-row seat to the global effects of climate change, reflect on stewardship of our planet, as well as space’s remarkable ability to unite all of us in shared humanity. Visit http://climate.nasa.gov/ for more information about our changing planet. Credit: NASA
X-59 Back in California Following Critical Ground Tests
Our X-59 quiet supersonic experimental aircraft is back at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Southern California after months of critical ground tests in Texas. The testing was conducted to ensure the aircraft could withstand the loads and stresses of supersonic flight. The X-59 will now undergo further testing and development as engineers continue making progress toward its first demonstration flights over communities around the U.S. starting in 2024.
Cosmonauts Complete Spacewalk to Set Up Robotic Arm
On April 18, cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Denis Matveev of Roscosmos completed a 6-hour and 37-minute spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The pair installed and connected a control panel for the 37-foot-long European robotic arm mounted to the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module. This was the 249th spacewalk for space station assembly, maintenance, and upgrades.