IMAGE – NASA
SpaceX is set to launch four astronauts to space with NASA for its seventh crewed mission to the International Space Station.
The mission, titled Crew-4, marks the beginning of a six-month stay onboard the ISS and SpaceX’s commitment to flying NASA astronauts to orbit.
This is SpaceX’s fourth human spaceflight mission to the ISS for NASA with SpaceX’s first crew arriving on the ISS in 2020 on the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
Joining Watkins as the other rookie member of the trip is Bob Hines, while both will be joined by two veterans, Kjell Lindgren and Samantha Cristoforetti.
At the press conference prior to her flight, Watkins said,
“This is certainly an important milestone; I think both for our agency and for the country. And I think it’s really just a tribute to the legacy of the Black women astronauts that have come before me, as well as to the exciting future ahead. And so, I’m honored to be just a small part of that legacy moving forward.”
The Crew-4 will be joining three Russian cosmonauts, three additional NASA astronauts and a German astronaut from the European Space Agency when they arrive at the ISS.
Crew-4 takes off on top of the Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX’s launchpad at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.