Elon Musk’s space company SpaceX announced earlier this week that it is calling its fourth human-rated Dragon spaceship Freedom. According to Space.com, SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission will fly to the International Space Station on April 19th. The mission’s Dragon capsule is going to be Freedom.
At a Glance:
- SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission will be flying to the International Space Station on April 19th.
- The SpaceX mission’s Dragon Capsule is also going to be Freedom.
- NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, the commander of SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission, announced details about the Freedom Dragon capsule.
- Lindgren is going to fly alongside NASA astronauts Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins as well as European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti for the Crew-4 mission.
Meanwhile, NASA astronaut, Kjell Lindgren, who is commanding SpaceX’s Crew-4 mission, took to Twitter on Thursday (March 23rd) to reveal the exciting news. “FREEDOM!!! Crew-4 will fly to the International Space Station in a new Dragon capsule called Freedom. The name celebrates a fundamental human right, and the industry and innovation that emanate from the unencumbered human spirit.”
Lindgren also goes on to share that through the Commercial Crew Program, NASA and SpaceX have restored the national capability. “And we honor the ingenuity and hard work of those involved. Alan Shepard flew on Freedom 7 at the dawn of human flight. We are honored to bring Freedom to a new generation!”
Space.com further reveals that Freedom will be the fourth SpaceX Dragon capsule to carry astronauts to space. The other three capsules were named Endeavour, Resilience, and Endurance. The Crew-4 mission is going to be SpaceX’s fifth crewed spaceflight for NASA. It notably follows the crewed test flight Demo-2 and three previously operated crewed missions to the International Space Station. Crew-4 will also be SpaceX’s sixth crewed spaceflight total.
NASA Announces Plans to Develop a Second Human Lunar Lander Alongside SpaceX Starship
Also earlier this week, NASA announces plans to develop a second human lunar lander alongside the SpaceX Starship. This project will be under Artemis.
In a press release, NASA says its plans call for long-term lunar exploration. It also includes landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. “The agency is pursuing two parallel paths for continuing lunar lander development and demonstration, one that calls for additional work under an existing contract with SpaceX, and another open to all other U.S. companies to provide a new landing demonstration mission from lunar orbit to the surface of the Moon.”
NASA goes on to add that in order to bring a second entrant to market for the development of a lunar lander in parallel with SpaceX, it will issue a draft solicitation. “This upcoming activity will lay out requirements for future development and demonstration lunar landing capability to take astronauts between orbit and the surface of the Moon. This effort is meant to maximize NASA’s support for the competition. And provides redundancy in services to help ensure NASA’s ability to transport astronauts to the lunar surface.”