SpaceX Launches  Station On A Dragon 

Astronauts To Space

The new SpaceX Dragon capsule

Freedom carrying the Crew-4 astronauts lifted off from historic Launch Pad 39A here at NASA's Kennedy Space Center atop a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket today (April 27)

SpaceX successfully launched its

 fourth astronaut mission to the International Space Station for NASA before dawn Wednesday, bringing the company's total crewed flight tally to seven.

The Dragon and its four passengers

NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins and the European Space Agency's Samantha Cristoforetti — are scheduled to dock with the ISS around 8:15 p.m. EDT on April 28

About 9.5 minutes after launch,

the Falcon 9's first stage, designated B1067, successfully landed on the SpaceX droneship A Shortfall of Gravitas (ASOG) in the Atlantic Ocean, completing the booster's fourth flight.

 It previously launched

the CRS-22 cargo mission and Crew-3 flight for NASA, as well as the Türksat 5B satellite, in June, November and December of last year, respectively.

The Crew-4 launch comes on the

 heels of another astronaut mission flown by SpaceX, Axiom 1 (Ax-1), which launched to the ISS on April 8 and splashed down off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, onApril 25

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