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2 Coloradans headed to International Space Station

Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins make up half of the four-person team that will spend six months on the station.

COLORADO, USA — In three weeks, two Coloradans are getting on a SpaceX Dragon to the International Space Station. 

University of Colorado grad Kjell Lindgren and Lafayette native Jessica Watkins make up half of the four-person SpaceX Crew-4 team, which also includes NASA astronaut Bob Hines and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Christoforetti. The group will spend six months on the station.

This will be 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. "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." 

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 said. "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." 

The mission is scheduled for liftoff April 20 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

Lindgren and Watkins are also both part of the Artemis team, and could be the first people of color to land on the moon.

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