SpaceX, the commercial spaceflight company of Elon Musk, received approval from NASA Friday to finally take a crew to the International Space Station.
This will be the first SpaceX mission that actually involves the transport of astronauts. It is also a big relief for the commercial space program that NASA still gave them approval despite a failed rocket launch in June that led to the loss of food, water and other supplies that were supposed to be delivered to the ISS, according to Gizmodo.
This is also the first of two guaranteed missions that SpaceX secured the rights to in a 2014 contract with NASA, CNN Money reported.
"The authority to proceed with Dragon's first operational crew mission is a significant milestone in the Commercial Crew Program and a great source of pride for the entire SpaceX team," said Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX, according to NASA.
The flight is scheduled for 2017, but SpaceX can now start preparing for the launch and make sure no failures occur.
The approval is the second great news that SpaceX has received this week. In a bid to launch a GPS satellite for the Pentagon, competitor for the contract, United Launch Alliance, has announced that it would no longer bid for the project, leaving SpaceX as the only bidder, according to The Los Angeles Times.