Name someone who at some point in their life didn’t want to be an astronaut. The answer is no one. Ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up and they all say an astronaut. Being an astronaut is the ultimate dream job for everyone of all ages. Why? Because you get to go to space, and there’s nothing cooler than going into space. For context, even if you’re not a sports fan you have watched the Super Bowl at least once in your life. It is one of the most watched and most lauded sports championship games in the entire world, and yet despite all its media attention and halftime shows and all-time great finishes, the Super Bowl still holds a candle to being able to go to space. Eat your heart out, Tom Brady. Going into space is just awesome, and there’s nothing like it.

Just ask the astronauts of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 who blasted off into orbit, and to the International Space Station (ISS), on April 27 at 3:52am EDT (12:52am PDT). They will undoubtedly tell you how awesome it is going to space onboard their Dragon spacecraft. The initial g-forces pushing on their body at liftoff and eventually giving way to the feeling of weightlessness literally minutes later is something they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Crew-4 consists of three NASA astronauts, Mission Commander Kjell Lindgren, Pilot Bob Hines, and Mission Specialist Jessica Watkins, and one European Space Agency astronaut, Mission Specialist Samantha Cristoforetti. The Crew-4 astronauts will spend several months aboard the space station conducting new scientific research in areas such as materials science, health technologies, and plant science to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to benefit life on Earth.

Lindgren is commander of the Dragon spacecraft and the Crew-4 mission. He is responsible for all phases of flight, from launch to re-entry, and will serve as an Expedition 67 flight engineer. This will be Lindgren’s second spaceflight since becoming an astronaut in 2009. In 2015, he spent 141 days aboard the orbital laboratory as a flight engineer for expeditions 44 and 45. Board certified in emergency medicine, he previously worked at NASA Johnson as a flight surgeon supporting space station training and operations and served as a deputy crew surgeon for space shuttle flight STS-130 and Expedition 24. Lindgren was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and spent most of his childhood in England before graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy.


Portrait of Expedition 44/45 astronaut Kjell Lindgren in EMU (Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford)

Hines is the pilot of the Dragon spacecraft and second in command for the mission. He is responsible for spacecraft systems and performance. Aboard the station, he will serve as an Expedition 67 flight engineer. This will be his first flight since his selection as an astronaut in 2017. Hines has served more than 22 years in the U.S. Air Force as a test pilot, fighter pilot, and instructor pilot. Before his selection in 2017, he was a research pilot at Johnson.


2017 NASA Astronaut Candidate – Bob Hines. Photo Date: June 6, 2017. Location: Ellington Field – Hangar 276, Tarmac. (Credit: NASA / Robert Markowitz)

Watkins is a mission specialist for Crew-4 and will work closely with the commander and pilot to monitor the spacecraft during the

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