NASA and SpaceX are making final preparations for the launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. The Crew-4 astronauts were originally supposed to launch on Saturday, April 23, but due to the late departure from the ISS of the Ax-1 mission, the mission won’t get underway until Wednesday, April 27, at the earliest.
NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, and Jessica Watkins, together with Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, will launch aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket.
The flight will be SpaceX’s fourth operational crew transport mission, and the fifth crewed mission overall after the Dragon completed its first astronaut flight in 2020 in a demonstration mission.
What to expect
NASA’s livestream will show the astronauts making their way to the Falcon 9 rocket and being strapped into their seats inside the Crew Dragon capsule. Multiple cameras will also cover the rocket launch, stage separation, and the landing of the rocket’s first stage back on Earth. Later coverage will show the astronauts inside the spacecraft as they travel toward the ISS.
How to watch
A Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying the Crew-4 astronauts is scheduled to lift off from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A at 3:52 a.m. ET (12:52 a.m. PT) on Wednesday, April 27.
The livestream will begin several hours earlier. You can watch it via the video player embedded at the top of this page or via NASA’s YouTube channel, which will carry the same feed. Clearly, the launch time isn’t great for folks in the U.S., but the stream will still be available first thing when you wake up on Wednesday.
The Crew Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to reach the ISS about 24 hours after launch, followed by the autonomous docking, hatch opening, and welcoming ceremony, where the crew will get to meet their counterparts on the ISS for the first time.
There’s a chance that a technical issue or poor weather conditions could delay the launch, so be sure to check this page or NASA’s Twitter feed for the latest updates.
In the meantime, check out NASA’s recently posted video showing the Crew-4 astronauts preparing for their mission.
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