NASA has announced two of the astronauts it has assigned to the SpaceX Crew 4 mission to the ISS. This will be the fourth crew rotation flight for the Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines have been assigned to the mission and will serve as commander and pilot respectively.
Additional crew members will be added to the mission as mission specialists in the future by NASA’s partner international space organizations. Currently, the Crew-4 mission is set to launch in 2022 using a Falcon 9 rocket. Currently, the mission is set to launch Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Both the NASA astronauts and the international crewmembers will join an expedition crew on the ISS for a long-duration stay. Lindgren is making his second trip into space after spending 141 days on the ISS in 2015. He was selected to be an astronaut in 2009 and was previously a flight surgeon supporting the space shuttle and space station missions. He was also named as an Artemis Team astronaut last year.
Heinz was selected as an astronaut in 2017 and will make his first trip into space. He is a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force and graduated the Air Force Test Pilot school. The aging ISS has had astronauts aborted for more than 20 years conducting all sorts of research that couldn’t be conducted on earth.
Since it was placed into service, the ISS has been home to 242 people from 19 countries. It’s hosted more than 3000 research and educational investigations from researchers in 108 countries. The SpaceX launch is part of the NASA partnership with commercial companies to free NASA to focus on deep space missions to the moon and Mars.