The crew, consisting of one Japanese and three US astronauts, is scheduled for lift-off shortly after midnight on Sunday, on a rocket and capsule system built by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s aerospace company.
For Nasa, it marks the beginning of using private firms as a “taxi service” to fly its crew to and from the space station.
The US space agency announced this week that it had certified SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket to carry astronauts, making it the first commercial human spaceflight system in history.
Here’s everything you need to know:
What time is the launch? How can I watch it?
The crew is set to blast off from the Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 12:49am UK time on November 15, in a journey that is expected to last around nine hours.
It will be available to livestream on SpacesX’s website.
What will happen after lift-off
Shortly after lift-off, the Falcon 9 rocket will separate into a first stage and a second stage.
The first stage will return to a SpaceX landing ship stationed off the coast of Florida, while the second part of the rocket continues the journey with the Crew Dragon.
Once in orbit, the Crew Dragon will separate from the second stage and travel at around 17,000mph.
The current mission, named Crew 1, will see the Crew Dragon capsule carry Nasa’s Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, as well as Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, to the space station.
The astronauts will spend six months on the orbiting space laboratory, conducting scientific experiments and performing various other tasks.
The craft is expected to rendezvous and dock with the space station on Sunday at 9:20am UK time.
The astronauts will join three other space station residents – Nasa’s Kate Rubins and Russia’s Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov – to become part of the Expedition 64 crew.
Meanwhile, Nasa’s other taxi service for hire, Boeing, is not expected to fly its first crew until next summer.