CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA and SpaceX have approved a test flight next week of the new commercial Dragon capsule designed for crew.
No one will be aboard. But the capsule will still fly to the International Space Station, following its planned March 2 liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Officials gave the green light Friday after conducting a safety review.
Space X has been making space station shipments since 2012. The private company had to overhaul its cargo capsule for astronauts. If the upcoming demo goes well, two NASA astronauts could strap in for the next test flight this summer.
It would be the first launch of U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil in eight years.
Boeing is also in the commercial race to transport space station astronauts. Its first Starliner demo is in April.