Science Desk, Apr 27 (EFE).- Elon Musk’s company SpaceX launched the Crew-4 astronaut mission on Wednesday morning from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The Falcon 9 rocket is transporting four astronauts in the Dragon Freedom capsule and will dock at the International Space Station 18 hours after take-off, which took place at 7:53 GMT.
Mission commander Kjell Lindgren, pilot Robert Hines, mission specialist Jessica Watkins (all Nasa astronauts), and mission specialist Samantha Cristoforetti (a European Space Agency astronaut) are expected to reach the ISS on April 28 at 00:15 GMT.
The team will spend around six months on the space station where they will conduct over 200 scientific and technical experiments, including one on how sutured wounds heal in microgravity.
The crew has also been tasked with the set-up of a new external facility to map the Earth’s dust-producing regions.
This will be the fourth crew rotation to fly on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket, and the fifth SpaceX flight with NASA astronauts as part of the US agency’s Commercial Crew Program. EFE