The Crew Dragon capsule has gone through an arduous development process

American space agency (Nasa) astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will create a piece of history on Wednesday when they launch from the Florida coast.

The pair’s trip to the International Space Station (ISS) will be made in a rocket and capsule system provided by a private company, SpaceX.

Nasa has traditionally always owned and operated its space vehicles.

But that is a capability it gave up in 2011 when it retired the last of the space shuttles.

The agency now wants to contract out all future crew transportation to low-Earth orbit to the commercial sector.

And assuming Wednesday’s flight goes well, this new way of working will be implemented in full.

“We’re starting a new era in space; it’s an

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