Boeing said that two of its employees will act as crew members in the first manned mission of its new astronaut capsule. The company confirmed that it will use the Atlas 5 rocket to test on three flights in 2015.
The first launch will use an unmanned capsule.
U.S. space agency NASA has been asking Boeing to develop a commercially operated crew transport service to and from low-Earth orbit. NASA and other space agencies would buy seats in these vehicles. Eventually, this could include space labs and hotels.
NASA closed down its space shuttle program last month due to high costs.
The agency said that transferring operational accountability to the commercial sector will decrease the price of going into low-Earth orbit and that it will give financial support in in order to develop the CST-100 ship.
"Our approach is to produce a reliable spacecraft built on existing simple systems and then integrate that with a proven launch vehicle, all focussed on putting in place a very safe system, one that will be reliable and that can be operational as soon as practical so that we can start flying U.S. crews from U.S. launch sites post the shuttle era," said John Elbon, vice president and program manager of Boeing's Commercial Crew Programs.
The Atlas 5 has a 100 percent launch success record.