SpaceX sends American and Italian astronauts to the ISS

At the 39A launch pad in Cape Cao, Florida, a SpaceX “four-handed” Falcon 9 rocket carried four astronauts and the “Liberty” Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. The four astronauts on the Crew4 mission include three NASA astronauts and an Italian female astronaut. The four astronauts are

  • Commander Shel Lindgren (second flight)
  • Pilot Robert Hines (first flight)
  • Mission specialist Thurmantha Christopheretti (second flight)
  • Mission specialist Jessica Watkins (first flight)

Furthermore, the Falcon 9 rocket piloting the astronauts comes with the number B1067-4. This old rocket has had to launch four times before. About nine minutes after launch, the rocket successfully returned to land on a maritime recovery ship in the Atlantic Ocean, becoming a “five-handed rocket”.


Astronauts on SpaceX mission

Dr. Shel Lindgren, a certified emergency physician and former flight surgeon, was on his second trip to the International Space Station, having spent 141 days in orbit on the ISS in 2015 when he was assigned as Commander of the mission. On his last expedition, he conducted two spacewalks and participated in more than 100 science projects.

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Jessica Watkins is a 2017 NASA astronaut candidate. She is a professional in the field of geology and holds a BA in Geology and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University. She also holds a PhD in Geology from UCLA. During her undergraduate studies, she conducted research on Martian soils at NASA’s Ames Research Center. This contributed to the completion of the Phoenix Mars rover mission. As a graduate student, she also participated in research at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition, she was chief geologist for NASA’s Mars Desert Research Station Simulation Mission.


After becoming a Crew 4 crew member, Watkins will become the first African-American woman to fly a long-term mission aboard the International Space Station. She will be the first of only seven other black astronauts to have boarded the ISS since its establishment more than 20 years ago.

Italian female astronaut Semantha Cristoforetti was selected as a European Space Agency astronaut in May 2009. She spent 200 days in space and proved her command ability in NASA’s NEEMO23 mission. In 2001, Cristoforetti joined the Italian Air Force and entered the Air Force Academy as an officer candidate. It is worth mentioning that she came to China in 2017 and participated in the marine lifesaving training in Yantai, Shandong.

The four astronauts will stay on the International Space Station for 6 months. Starting in 2020, SpaceX launched the first astronauts to the International Space Station with the Dragon spacecraft.

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1 Comment

  1. April 27, 2022

    zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Space X hype-big deal….a publicly (unknown to most public) supported company with ex-NASA and ex-other aerospace specialists doing what other private (even if publicly traded stock) companies have done before – decades ago.