SpaceX's new Crew-4 Dragon capsule gets a name: Freedom

SpaceX's Crew-4 astronaut crew on board a Dragon capsule. The mission's Dragon is named Freedom. (Image credit: SpaceX)

Freedom is ready to launch to space.

SpaceX's Crew-4 mission will fly to the International Space Station on April 19. And the mission's Dragon capsule just got a name: Freedom. 

"FREEDOM!! Crew-4 will fly to the International Space Station in a new Dragon capsule named 'Freedom.' The name celebrates a fundamental human right, and the industry and innovation that emanate from the unencumbered human spirit," NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who will command the Crew-4 mission, said on Twitter today (March 23).

Lindgren will fly alongside fellow NASA astronauts Robert Hines and Jessica Watkins as well as European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

Related: Next SpaceX NASA crew launch adds rookie astronaut Jessica Watkins

"Through the Commercial Crew Program, NASA and SpaceX have restored a national capability and we honor the ingenuity and hard work of those involved. Alan Shepard flew on Freedom 7 at the dawn of human spaceflight. We are honored to bring Freedom to a new generation!" Lindgren added in a follow-up post.

Freedom will be the fourth SpaceX Dragon capsule to carry astronauts to space. The other three, which were also named by the first crewmembers to ride them, are Endeavour, Resilience and Endurance. 

Tech billionaire Jared Isaacman, who commanded the private Inspiration4 mission that flew Resilience around Earth for three days in September 2021, shared his excitement for the name Freedom on Twitter.

"Strong name for a Dragon. Godspeed Crew-4!" he said on Twitter, sharing Lindgren's post.

SpaceX's Crew-4 mission will be the company's fifth crewed spaceflight for NASA, following the crewed test flight Demo-2 and three previous operational crewed missions to the space station. It will also be SpaceX's sixth crewed spaceflight overall, including the private orbital mission Inspiration4. 

The company is still on track for an April 19 flight from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the launch site of all of SpaceX's previous crewed missions.

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Chelsea Gohd
Senior Writer

Chelsea “Foxanne” Gohd joined in 2018 and is now a Senior Writer, writing about everything from climate change to planetary science and human spaceflight in both articles and on-camera in videos. With a degree in Public Health and biological sciences, Chelsea has written and worked for institutions including the American Museum of Natural History, Scientific American, Discover Magazine Blog, Astronomy Magazine and Live Science. When not writing, editing or filming something space-y, Chelsea "Foxanne" Gohd is writing music and performing as Foxanne, even launching a song to space in 2021 with Inspiration4. You can follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd and @foxannemusic.