LIFTOFF! NASA SpaceX Crew-4 Astronauts Begin Their Journey to the Space Station

[ad_1]

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti onboard, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani

The SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on their way to the International Space Station has safely reached orbit, and the nosecone has opened.

At 5:30 a.m., NASA will host a postlaunch news teleconference from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Participants in the briefing will be:

  • Kathy Lueders, associate administrator, Space Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Steve Stich, manager, Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
  • Joel Montalbano, manager, International Space Station Program, NASA Johnson
  • Jessica Jensen, vice president, customer operations and integration, SpaceX
  • Josef Aschbacher, director general, ESA

Here are the details of the launch:

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Crew-4 Fueling

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon atop is seen at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on April 26, 2022, as fueling commences ahead of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 launch. Credit: NASA

3:14 am EDT, April 27, 2022

The launch escape system for the Crew Dragon spacecraft has been armed, and fueling of the Falcon 9 rocket is underway. We’re now T-35 minutes from launch, and the rocket is being loaded with RP-1 (rocket grade kerosene). The rocket’s first stage also is being fueled with liquid oxygen, and a few minutes from now, fueling will begin for the second stage.

Weather officials with the U.S. Space Force 45th Weather Squadron predict a 90% chance of favorable weather conditions for this morning’s launch. Liftoff is targeted for 3:52 a.m. EDT.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Crew-4 Crew Dragon

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon atop is seen at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on April 26, 2022, as fueling commences ahead of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 launch. Credit: NASA

3:32 am EDT, April 27, 2022

The second stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is being loaded with liquid oxygen, and everything remains on track for a targeted 3:52 a.m. EDT liftoff. Inside the Crew Dragon spacecraft are NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Lindgren and Cristoforetti have previously traveled to the International Space Station, while it will be the first trip for Hines and Watkins.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Crew-4 Pre-Launch

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket with the Crew Dragon atop is seen at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A on April 26, 2022, ahead of the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 launch. Credit: NASA

3:47 am EDT, April 27, 2022

Liftoff of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Freedom by the crew, is now just five minutes away. Everything is proceeding according to schedule, and all is looking good for the Crew-4 launch!

3:53 am EDT, April 27, 2022

We have liftoff! At 3:52 a.m. EDT, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft lit up the morning sky at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, sending Crew-4 astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, and Samantha Cristoforetti on the start of a 16 1/2-hour journey to the International Space Station.

Coming up in just one minute, the rocket will pass through Max Q – the moment of peak mechanical stress on the rocket. Following this, the Falcon 9’s first and second stages will separate.

3:56 am EDT, April 27, 2022

The Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage has reached main engine cutoff, known as MECO, and the first and second stages have separated. As the second stage continues carrying Crew Dragon on its flight, the rocket’s first stage will attempt a targeted landing on a droneship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

3:57 am EDT, April 27, 2022

The call came in from Crew-4 Commander Kjell Lindgren that trajectory is nominal, and the first stage has started its descent. The Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage will continue to burn for the next few minutes before intentionally shutting down.

4:02 am EDT, April 27, 2022

Shutdown of the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage engines occurs right on time, and Crew Dragon is now in orbit. In just a moment, the rocket’s first stage will attempt to land on the droneship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX Falcon 9 Crew-4 Rocket Lands

The first stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket lands on the droneship “A Shortfall of Gravitas” in the Atlantic Ocean following launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission on April 27, 2022. Credit: NASA

4:03 am EDT, April 27, 2022

The first stage of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket has successfully landed on the company’s droneship, “A Shortfall of Gravitas,” stationed in the Atlantic Ocean. The rocket used for today’s mission previously flew on SpaceX’s 22nd commercial resupply mission in June 2021 and the Crew-3 launch to the International Space Station in November.

4:05 am EDT, April 27, 2022

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Freedom by the Crew-4 astronauts, has successfully separated from the Falcon 9 rocket’s second stage and is now flying on its own.

The spacecraft has safely reached orbit, and its nosecone has opened. NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, and Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are slated to arrive at the International Space Station just over 16 hours from now, around 8:15 p.m. EDT on April 27.



[ad_2]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *