NASA certified SpaceX's Crew Dragon spacecraft to transport humans to space, following the completion of a flight readiness review.
The space agency said Wednesday it signed the Human Rating Certification Plan to approve Crew Dragon and the Falcon 9 rocket for manned transportation.
The certification prepares Crew Dragon for the upcoming Crew-1 mission that will serve as NASA's first operational crewed flight with the spacecraft.
U.S. astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins, joined by Japan's Soichi Noguchi, will embark on the trip scheduled for launch on Saturday from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Regular space station transportation is expected to open broader opportunities for discovery and to expand research time.
The flight is part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program, an effort to deliver space transportation technologies and services through partnership with U.S. aerospace industry.
“NASA’s partnership with American private industry is changing the arc of human spaceflight history by opening access to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station to more people, more science and more commercial opportunities," said Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight development at NASA.
Crew Dragon's certification results from multiple developmental milestones under the program including the crewed demonstration mission that launched on May 30.