For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – The Crew-4 multinational team of astronauts from the US and Europe is ready to blastoff at last on a nearly half year science mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in the wee hours overnight Wednesday, April 27, after poor splashdown weather forced lengthy homecoming delays for the private Axiom Mission-1 crew that cascaded into nearly day for day delays for the Crew-4 until the Axiom astronauts departed Sunday and freed up a required docking port.
The Crew 4 launch will culminate an amazing cadence of two human spaceflight launches to the ISS in the space just two weeks apart and less than 48 hours between splashdown of Axiom Mission 1and blastoff of Crew-4
Crew-4 will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Lift off is scheduled at 3:52 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 27 from Launch Complex 39A ant NASA’s Kennedy Space Center during an instantaneous launch window.
Just over 17 hours after launch, the crew is expected to rendezvous and dock at the orbiting research laboratory.
Docking is planned for approximately 8:15 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 27.
“Flying safely with crew means that you’ve got to do it one step at a time,” said Kathryn Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, at the prelaunch media briefing at KSC.
“So, tomorrow morning, we’re hoping that you’ll get to see a really, really beautiful step, and we’ll get our crew safely to orbit.”
Crew-4 is the fourth crew rotation flight of a U.S. commercial spacecraft under the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.
Crew-4 will launch on the brand new SpaceX Crew Dragon Freedom capsule with a team of four NASA and ESA astronauts on more than five month long science mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
The crew comprises NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti to the International Space Station for a rotation science expedition, living and working as part of what is expected to be a 7-member crew.
Weather officials with the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Weather Squadron are predicting an 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for launch – this is derived from Falcon 9 Crew Dragon launch weather criteria. The primary weather concerns are cumulus cloud and flight through precipitation rules.
Watch for our detailed post launch story
Watch Ken’s commentary about NASA SLS WDR demo test, NASA Crew 4 and SpaceX AX-1 mission
Apr 22: Fox 35 Orlando features my analysis of the busy week ahead in space with weather delayed Earth return of #AX1 crew this weekend, launch of 4 NASA/ESA #Crew4 astronauts on #SpaceX #CrewDragon NET Apr 26 & rollback of NASA SLS to VAB for repairs
Apr 20: WFTV ABC News Orlando features my commentary about the SpaceX static fire and impact of weather induced delays to departure of Ax-1 and launch of Crew-4.
Apr 15/16 & Apr 12/13: WFTV ABC News Orlando and WKMG CBS 6 Orlando featured my comments about NASA SLS WDR wet dress rehearsal countdown and fueling demo test and human launches to ISS:
Apr 6: WFTV ABC 9 Orlando featured my comments about 1st fully private astronaut launch to ISS by SpaceX on AX-1 mission:https://www.wftv.com/news/local/brevard-county/first-all-private-astronaut-mission-iss-set-liftoff-kennedy-space-center-this-week/FYE5QAT735BA7G42O6IVCJGB4Q/
Apr 4 & 5: WFTV ABC News Orlando and Fox 35 Orlando featured my comments about NASA SLS WDR wet dress rehearsal countdown and fueling demo test and human launches to ISS
Watch Ken’s continuing reports about Artemis, SLS, Orion and NASA missions, SpaceX Axiom-1, JWST, IXPE, DART, Lucy Asteroid mission, GOES, SpaceX Cargo and Crew Dragons, SpaceX Starlink, Commercial Crew and Starliner and Crew Dragon, Blue Origin and Space Tourism, and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2 & 3 & 4, ISS, Solar Orbiter, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com –www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics.
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