Crew-4 arrives at International Space Station in Dragon ‘Freedom’
Less than 16 hours after launching from Florida, the Crew-4 astronauts arrived at the International Space Station to begin a five-month stay aboard the outpost.
The SpaceX Crew-4 Dragon, named “Freedom,” docked with the space-facing port of the Harmony module at 7:37 p.m. EDT (23:37 UTC) April 27, 2022. After leak checks, NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti entered the outpost at 9:15 p.m. EDT (01:15 UTC April 28) to join the seven-person Expedition 67 crew.
“We had an absolutely magnificent ride into low Earth orbit and [a Falcon 9] booster and the Freedom capsule,” Lindgren said during a welcoming ceremony several hours after entering the space station. “It was a really smooth ride and the gees were pretty amazing”
Already aboard the ISS are NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, bringing the population of the outpost to 11.
The Crew-4 astronauts are replacing Marshburn, Chari, Barron and Maurer, who have been aboard the ISS since launching aboard the Crew-3 Dragon in November 2021. They’ll be undocking from the outpost as early as May 4, returning to Earth a day later.
This is the first spaceflight for Hines and Watkins, both of whom are members of NASA’s 2017 astronaut class, nicknamed “The Turtles.” In fact, of the 11 people aboard the ISS during this crew handover period, four are Turtles.
For Lindgren and Cristoforetti, this is their second long-duration mission. Lindgren was in space for Expeditions 44 and 45 between July and December of 2015. Cristoforetti, meanwhile, was a member of Expeditions 42 and 43 between November 2014 and June 2015.
Under the current plan, Crew-4 is expected to remain aboard the ISS until September. They’ll be replaced by the Crew-5 astronauts in a direct crew handover.
Video courtesy of NASA
Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a website about human spaceflight called Orbital Velocity. You can find him on twitter @TheSpaceWriter.