Spacex Dragon ‘freedom’ Named For 1st American Astronaut’s Experience Into Area

HomeNewsHuman SpaceflightsCrew-four commander Kjell Lindgren (at proper) with pilot Bob Hines, flanked by crewmates Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti and backdropped with the aid of their Crew Dragon “Freedom.”(Image credit score: SpaceX)

SpaceX’s subsequent new spacecraft to hold astronauts into orbit stocks a name with the first pill to fly an American into space more than 60 years ago.

Crew Dragon “Freedom” (opens in new tab) will make its debut with the release of SpaceX’s Crew-4 mision, which incorporates NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins, as well as European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Lindgren, who is the venture’s commander, found out the name on Wednesday (March 23).

“FREEDOM!! Crew-four will fly to the International Space Station in a brand new Dragon tablet named ‘Freedom,'” Lindgren posted on Twitter (opens in new tab). “The call celebrates a fundamental human proper, and the industry and innovation that emanate from the unencumbered human spirit.”

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Crew-4 astronauts Jessica Watkins, Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Samantha Cristoforetti on the Crew Dragon “Freedom.” (Image credit score: SpaceX)

The name also borrows from U.S. spaceflight records, Lindgren said.

“Through the Commercial Crew Program, NASA and SpaceX have restored a national functionality and we honor the ingenuity and difficult paintings of these concerned. Alan Shepard flew on Freedom 7 at the sunrise of human spaceflight. We are honored to deliver Freedom to a new era!” he stated.

One of the authentic Mercury 7 astronauts, Shepard lifted off on May 5, 1961 aboard NASA’s Mercury-Redstone three suborbital task (opens in new tab). He selected “Freedom” for his spacecraft’s name in mild of the Cold War space race between the United States and then-Soviet Union. dobrovol.org (The “7” became due to the pill being the 7th off the manufacturing unit line, although whilst asked through the clicking, Shepard later agreed that it changed into a image of camaraderie together with his six different Mercury astronauts.)

Today, “Freedom 7” is inside the care of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, which plans on displaying the pill in its new “Destination Moon” gallery when it opens later this yr. The museum also has the unflown Mercury spacecraft that Shepard unofficially named “Freedom 7 II” in a failed bid to get a 2d Mercury venture.

“Freedom,” the SpaceX spacecraft, marks the second one time a group has seemed to NASA’s past to call their new car. The first Dragon to release astronauts to the International Space Station become named “Endeavour” (opens in new tab) after the Demo-2 group’s shared first journey to area.

“We each had our first flights on [space] commute Endeavour, and it simply intended a lot to us to carry on that name. So that’s what we determined to go with,” stated Doug Hurley, who with Bob Benkhen revealed the call about three hours when they reached orbit aboard “Endeavour” in May 2020.

“Endeavour” changed into also the name of the Apollo 15 command module that orbited the moon in the course of the fourth lunar landing undertaking in 1971.

The second Crew Dragon, which was first flown through SpaceX’s Crew-1, become named “Resilience” (opens in new tab) as a tribute to the NASA and SpaceX groups who labored thru the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic to keep the task transferring ahead.

Alan Shepard have become the primary American in area in this Mercury tablet, “Freedom 7.” (Image credit score: Smithsonian/Mark Avino)

Crew Dragon “Endurance,” (opens in new tab) that is now at the distance station, was named by way of the individuals of Crew-3 for a variety of reasons, such as the tenacity of the human spirit as area exploration efforts push in new guidelines and the name’s historical connection to Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 day trip to move Antarctica. Shackleton’s “Endurance,” which changed into lately determined on the seafloor, was trapped in ice and its team persisted months of hassle before being rescued.

After being assembled at SpaceX’s centers in Hawthorne, California, “Freedom” was added this month to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will quickly go through very last preparations for the release of Crew-4 to the distance station.

“My whole profession, ‘The Sound of Freedom’ was defined through jet noise. Starting April 19th, it will be even better,” Hines, Crew-four pilot, wrote on Twitter (opens in new tab). “We have named our spacecraft Freedom, in honor of the freedoms we hold so dear. Tune in on April nineteenth to listen to the Sound of Freedom as Crew-4 launches to ISS!”

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Robert Pearlman is a area historian, journalist and the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, an internet guide and community dedicated to area history with a selected awareness on how and wherein space exploration intersects with popular culture. Pearlman is also a contributing writer for Space.com and co-creator of “Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Reality of Working in Space” posted through Smithsonian Books in 2018. He previously evolved on-line content material for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped set up the distance tourism employer Space Adventures and presently serves on the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and management board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he became inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Fame in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he changed into honored with the aid of the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight History.

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