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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Four astronauts lifted off early Wednesday on a science expedition mission to the International Space Station.

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Update 11:19 p.m. EDT April 27: Commander Kjell Lindgren, pilot Robert Hines, geologist-astronaut Jessica Watkins and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti docked at the International Space Station at 7:37 p.m. EDT, CBS News reported. That was 15 hours, 44 minutes after blastoff from the Kennedy Space Center. The crew was welcomed on board by the ISS crew a few hours later.

Original report: According to WFTV, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission launched at 3:52 a.m. EDT from Kennedy Space Center in Central Florida.

Original report: According to WFTV, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission launched at 3:52 a.m. EDT from Kennedy Space Center in Central Florida.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and new Dragon Freedom capsule will send astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins and Samantha Cristoforetti to the space station for the six-month mission.

The spacecraft is set to dock at the space station shortly after 8 p.m. EDT Wednesday, NASA said in a news release.

The mission marks “the fourth crew rotation to fly on a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket, and the fifth SpaceX flight with NASA astronauts … as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program,” the release added.

SpaceX said the astronauts “will conduct over 200 science experiments in areas such as materials science, health technologies and plant science to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and benefit life on Earth.”

>> RELATED STORY: SpaceX’s 1st all-private mission splashes down off Florida coast to complete mission

Wednesday’s launch came less than two days after SpaceX’s Axiom Space’s Ax-1 crew splashed down Monday afternoon near Jacksonville, completing the two-week, all-private mission.