02:31 GMT30 November 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - NASA completed final certification of the world’s first commercial spacecraft capable of transporting humans to and from the International Space Station, reviving the United States’ human spaceflight capability that ended with the Space Shuttle’s retirement in 2011, Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced.

    "I’m extremely proud to say we are returning regular human spaceflight launches to American soil on an American rocket and spacecraft," Bridenstine said on Tuesday in a press release. "This certification milestone is an incredible achievement from NASA and SpaceX that highlights the progress we can make working together with commercial industry."

    Since 2011, the United States has relied on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft system to access the International Space Station.

    ​Space X developed the system consisting of a Falcon 9 rocket and the Crew Dragon, under a NASA contract.

    Space X designed the Crew Dragon to carry up to seven people. ​The certification followed a successful test flight of the Space X system, which carried astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley to the station and returned them to Earth earlier this year.

    NASA plans to configure the capsule to carry four people at a time, plus cargo, with the next flight on November 14 sending Americans Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with Japanese Soichi Noguchi, on a six-month mission to the orbiting laboratory, the release said.

    Tags:
    ISS, SpaceX, United States, US
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