SpaceX may soon be putting astronauts in orbit.
On Thursday (October 10), the chief of NASA said, the first SpaceX crew could fly early next year.
NASA's Jim Bridenstine spoke alongside Elon Musk at SpaceX HQ.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) NASA ADMINISTRATOR, JIM BRIDENSTINE, SAYING: Elon and I are in strong agreement on this, that the one thing that we have under development that is under the highest priority is launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil." The two men have recently traded blows in the press and on Twitter, pointing to strain between NASA and SpaceX.
However Musk declared solidarity on Thursday.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SPACEX CEO, ELON MUSK, SAYING: This is a dream come true, really.
Yeah." "This human space flight is the reason that SpaceX was created and we're incredibly honored to partner with NASA and we'll make this happen.
Since the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA has had to rely on Russia's Soyuz rockets to put crew on the space station.
That costs about $80 million dollars a ticket.
SpaceX and rival Boeing are both trying to develop cheaper alternatives.
On Thursday, NASA's boss emphasized concern for astronaut safety and warned a 2020 timeline for SpaceX could slip.