Astronauts on SpaceX’s Crew-4 are making final preparations for next month’s mission to the International Space Station, digitaltrend reports.
NASA astronauts Jill Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti are scheduled to launch aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday, April 15.
While Lindgren and Cristoforetti have traveled to space before, the Crew-4 mission will be the first such flight for Hines and Watkins and the crew has been training for their next mission at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California and also at the Kennedy Space Center.
Preparations include simulation exercises aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft simulator which features realistic instruments, screens and seats for flight.
Crew Dragon training involves learning about routine tasks but more importantly learning how to handle unforeseen situations aboard the spacecraft such as system failure.
“Commander Lindgren and pilot Heinz took their places in the center seats, with access to flight displays which they would use to monitor the status of the spacecraft and, if necessary, to manually control the spacecraft,” NASA said.
The four crew members also made a trip aboard SpaceX’s Dragon rescue ship that will be used to collect astronauts after the collapse at the end of their mission later this year.
Providing insight into SpaceX’s broader operation, the astronauts were also given a tour of the SpaceX hangar where the reusable Falcon 9 rockets were refurbished and prepared for flight.
The April Crew-4 mission will take place 20 months after SpaceX’s first manned flight which saw NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken use the Crew Dragon to travel to and from the space station on Experimental Test Mission 2.
After the first successful mission, SpaceX sent four Crew-1 astronauts to the International Space Station for six months in November 2020.
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