Nasa has officially certified SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Crew Dragon human spaceflight system to transport astronauts.

It became the first-ever such system to secure this kind of certification.

The agency completed the signing of the Human Rating Certification Plan for SpaceX’s crew transportation system following a detailed flight readiness review.

With this designation, SpaceX will now be able to conduct regular crew missions to and from the International Space Station (ISS) under Nasa’s Commercial Crew Program.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said: “Thank you to Nasa for their continued support of SpaceX and partnership in achieving this goal.

“I could not be more proud of everyone at SpaceX and all of our suppliers who worked incredibly hard to develop, test, and fly the first commercial human spaceflight system in history to be certified by Nasa.

“This is a great honour that inspires confidence in our endeavour to return to the Moon, travel to Mars, and ultimately help humanity become multi-planetary.”

The certification comes just days ahead of the targeted launch of Nasa’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Centre in Florida to and from the ISS on 14 November.

The mission will launch Nasa astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) mission specialist Soichi Noguchi.

Nasa administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “I’m extremely proud to say we are returning regular human spaceflight launches to American soil on an American rocket and spacecraft.

“This certification milestone is an incredible achievement from Nasa and SpaceX that highlights the progress we can make working together with commercial industry.”