This Week @NASA: Next Crew of Astronauts Heading to Space Station, Mega Moon Rocket

This Week NASA Crew 4 Astronauts

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.

NASA SpaceX Crew-4 Astronauts

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts participate in a training session at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, CA. From left to right: NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 mission specialist Jessica Watkins; NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 pilot Robert “Bob” Hines; NASA astronaut and SpaceX Crew-4 commander Kjell Lindgren; and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and Crew-4 mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti of Italy. Credit: SpaceX

“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.

Artemis I SLS Rocket Wet Dress Rehearsal

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard is seen atop a mobile launcher at Launch Complex 39B, Monday, April 4, 2022, as the Artemis I launch team conducts the wet dress rehearsal test at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

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:

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

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 for more information about our changing planet. Credit: NASA

NASA X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology Aircraft

NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft, or QueSST, is designed to fly faster than the speed of sound without producing a loud, disruptive sonic boom, which is typically heard on the ground below aircraft flying at such speeds. Instead, with the X-59, people on the ground will hear nothing more than a quiet sonic thump – if they hear anything at all. Credit: NASA / Joey Ponthieux

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.

Two Spacewalkers From Roscosmos

Two spacewalkers from Roscosmos are pictured working outside the Nauka multipurpose laboratory module as the Intermtional Space Station orbited 261 miles above the Gulf of St. Lawrence off the coast of Îsles de la Madeleine. Cosmonauts (from left) Denis Matveev and Oleg Artemyev worked outside the station’s Russian segment for six hours and 37 minutes outfitting Nauka and configuring the European robotic arm. Credit: NASA

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.

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