At 0752 GMT on 27 April a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried the NASA Crew-4 mission to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The launch took place from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and saw a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule start its journey to the ISS. This is the first launch of this capsule, known as Freedom, the fourth such Crew Dragon to enter routine service.
The capsule will now carry the four astronauts on a 16 hour approach to the ISS, with docking planned for 0015 GMT, 28 April. Crew carried on this mission are NASA astronauts: Kjell Lindgren, mission commander; Robert Hines, pilot; and Jessica Watkins, mission specialist. They are joined by ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, mission specialist.
The first-stage of the Falcon 9 completed a propulsive landing on a drone barge, A Shortfall of Gravitas, at approximately T+ 9 minutes 30 seconds. The barge was stationed downrange in the Atlantic Ocean. This marks the fourth launch landing for this particular first-stage, identified as B1067.
Update on 28 April: The Crew Dragon successfully docked with the Zenith (IDA-Z), also known as IDA-3 – or space-facing – side of the Harmony module at 2337 GMT the same day it launched. After contact was secured and confirmed the crew was able to disembark the capsule an hour after docking.