Watch live: Crew-4 liftoff to the International Space Station

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Science & Exploration

26/04/2022
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Tune in to ESA Web TV this Wednesday 27 April to watch ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti begin her journey to the International Space Station. Launch is scheduled at 09:52 CEST (07:52 GMT), and live streaming will start at 06:00 CEST (04:00 GMT).

Samantha will be launched to the Station in SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft Freedom alongside NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins.

Samantha and her Minerva mission logo

Collectively known as Crew-4, the astronauts will be launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from launchpad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA.

Once Crew-4 arrives at the Space Station, Samantha’s ESA mission Minerva will officially begin.

This is the second mission for the Italian ESA astronaut who spent almost 200 days in orbit for her Italian Space Agency ASI-sponsored Futura mission in 2014-15.

Samantha selected the name Minerva for her second mission as a homage to the men and women all over the world who make human spaceflight possible.

ESA astronaut Samantha Christoforetti trains for her second space mission

“Minerva was also a warrior goddess, so she embodies the fortitude, the toughness and the discipline that is required of us, as well as the wisdom that we aspire to demonstrate, as we consolidate and expand human presence in space,” she explains.

Throughout Minerva, Samantha will serve as a member of Expedition 67 and hold responsibility for activities within the US Orbital Segment.

This segment comprises the US, European, Japanese and Canadian modules and components of the Space Station.

Upon arrival, she will be greeted by a number of familiar faces including fellow ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer. Matthias was launched with Crew-3 in November 2021 and will soon return to Earth following around six months in orbit for his first mission Cosmic Kiss.

Matthias Maurer and the window to the world

Crew-4 is expected to dock to the International Space Station in the early hours of Thursday, at approximately 03:15 CEST (01:15 GMT) 28 April. Hatch will open around two hours after docking.

All events will be streamed live on ESA Web TV, with regular updates also provided on Twitter @esaspaceflight and on the ESA Exploration blog.

For more about Samantha and Minerva, visit the Minerva mission page. Samantha will also provide updates throughout her mission on Twitter, YouTube and her newly launched TikTok channel.

Crew-4 arrive at Kennedy Space Center

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