Jim Bridenstine Administrator NASA

Four astronauts have begun preparing for their upcoming flight aboard a SpaceX-built spacecraft as part of the first operational manned mission under NASA's Commercial Crew Program.

Soichi Noguchi, an astronaut from Japan's space agency, will join U.S. astronauts Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Michael Hopkins on the Crew-1 mission to the International Space Station, according to a NASA blog post published Sunday.

A Falcon 9 rocket will carry the Dragon capsule and is scheduled to lift off Saturday at 7:49 p.m. Eastern time.

“Today we are taking another big leap in this transformation in how we do human spaceflight," Jim Bridenstine, NASA administrator and a 2019 Wash100 recipient, said during Saturday's crew arrival event.

“Make no mistake, every flight is a test flight when it comes to space travel, but it's also true that we need to routinely be able to go to the International Space Station."

Managers at NASA and SpaceX will evaluate the mission readiness of spacecraft systems this week.

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