Crew-4 astronauts arrive at Kennedy Space Center ahead of weekend launch

Launch taking place no earlier than Saturday at 5:26 a.m.

The four astronauts in the NASA and SpaceX Crew-4 mission arrived at Kennedy Space Center Monday, ahead of this weekend’s launch.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The four astronauts in the NASA and SpaceX Crew-4 mission arrived at Kennedy Space Center Monday, ahead of this weekend’s launch.

NASA astronauts Jessica Watkins, Robert Hines and Kjell Lindgreen, along with European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, arrived at KSC at 12:30 p.m.

[TRENDING: VIDEO: Man records himself being hit by driver who allegedly followed wife home in Orlando | Florida education officials reject 54 math textbooks for ‘attempts to indoctrinate students’ | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

‘’This is getting real,’’ said Cristoforetti, a mission specialist. ‘’We’re going to space very soon.’’

The upcoming crewed mission to the International Space Station will take place no earlier than 5:26 a.m. Saturday, NASA said. The astronauts will launch in a new Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket.

Crew-4 named the capsule “Freedom.”

‘’For our crew to have not only the opportunity to fly on a new vehicle, but to name a new vehicle, is truly an honor,’’ said Hines, the pilot of the mission.

In case of further delays, NASA said Sunday, April 24, and Monday, April 25, would serve as additional backup dates.

In a training session earlier this month, the crew took part in simulations “focused on undocking and department” from the space station.

The upcoming launch comes just two weeks after the first all-private mission to the space station when SpaceX and Axiom Space sent Michael Lopez-Alegria, Larry Connor, Mark Pathy and Eytan Stibbe up in the sky in a Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule.

The Ax-1 crew is scheduled to return home before Crew-4 arrives.

The Crew-3 astronauts, who launched last fall, plan to undock and splash down on Earth after Crew-4 replaces them.

Watkins will become the first Black American woman to complete a long-term mission on the station.

‘’I am just really honored to be a part of the long legacy of Black astronauts and Black women astronauts who came before me,’’ she said.


About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.