Trip Of A Lifetime: Two Coloradans Are Headed To Space This Month
Two Coloradans are in for the trip of a lifetime this April.
According to 9News, University of Colorado grad Kjell Lindgren and Lafayette native Jessica Watkins will make up half of the four-person SpaceX Crew-4 team aboard a SpaceX Dragon headed to the International Space Station later this month.
About The Crew:
Dr. Kjell N. Lindgren was selected by NASA in 2009, according to Nasa.gov.
Lindgren spent most of his childhood abroad and returned to the U.S. to complete his education and earn a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
After serving as the Deputy Crew Surgeon for STS-130 and Expedition 24, Lindgren was selected as an astronaut in June 2009 as one of 14 members of the 20th NASA astronaut class. Dr. Lindgren flew on Expedition 44/45 and logged 141 days in space.
Dr. Lindgren has participated in two spacewalks and in more than a hundred different scientific experiments; He is currently in training to fly the NASA SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) later this month.
Jessica Watkins was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class, according to Nasa.gov.
The Colorado native reported for duty in August 2017 and completed two years of training as an astronaut candidate.
Watkins earned a Bachelor of Science in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University, and a Doctorate in Geology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
Dr. Watkins has worked at NASA’s Ames Research Center and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and was also a science team collaborator for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity.
Watkins is currently assigned to fly to space for the first time as a Mission Specialist on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station later this month.
The SpaceX Crew-4 team also includes NASA astronaut Bob Hines and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Christoforetti.
As per reports surrounding the trip, the group will spend six months up in space at the ISS.
The upcoming trip will be Dr. Lindgren's second space station mission, and his first as the commander.
"We're excited about launching on a U.S. rocket from Kennedy Space Center," Lindgren said, according to 9News.
"Both Samantha and I had the opportunity to launch previously, and so to do this from Kennedy Space Center, to have family and friends join us in that experience, is really a remarkable thing."
What's more? Dr. Watkins is set to make history on her first trip to space, becoming the first Black woman to complete a long-term space station mission.
"This is certainly an important milestone, I think, both for our agency and for the country," Watkins told 9News on Thursday.
"And I think it really is just a tribute to the legacy of the Black women astronauts that have come before me, as well as to the exciting future ahead. And so I'm just honored to be a small part of that legacy moving forward."
NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled to launch on Wednesday, April 20 from the Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, FL.