A SpaceX spacecraft, Elon Musk’s company, took off early Wednesday, April 27, for a NASA mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Thanks to a favorable weather window, the spacecraft from the mission called “Crew-4” lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 03.52 (9.52 in Paris) with the Americans Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins on board, as well as the Italian Samantha Cristoforetti, from the European Space Agency. The shooting was broadcast live on NASA’s website.
SpaceX completed this launch less than forty hours after picking up another crew. The flight plan has accelerated since Elon Musk’s company became NASA’s taxi to the ISS.
The four astronauts from “Crew-4” will join another crew up there as their return to Earth nears after a five-month mission, and whose return date will soon be known. The new crew will set up and oversee hundreds of experiments in weightlessness, especially on plants, as well as an artificial human retina project.
Jessica Watkins is only the fifth black woman to travel into space and the first to join the space station on a long mission. She and her three crew members are expected to reach the ISS about seventeen hours after liftoff, with docking scheduled for 02.15 (Paris time) Thursday.