Since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, NASA has relied on other countries, such as Russia, to launch its astronauts and companies, like SpaceX and Orbital ATK, to launch resupply missions to the International Space Station. But the space agency is hoping that by the end of the year, successful test launches of crewed flights might change that.

In 2018, NASA is looking to contract crew launches to companies within the United States, as Vice President Mike Pence, chairman of the council, announced at the first meeting of the revived council. Both SpaceX and Boeing have been working on commercial crew launch options that could bring crew launches back to the United States.

SpaceX currently launches resupply missions to and from the station using its reusable rockets and then recovers the Dragon pods after the time spent at the station is complete. By the end of the year the company and NASA aim to have flown a crewed mission in the Dragon craft from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center.

Boeing’s flight tests are tentatively scheduled to happen before SpaceX’s. Both of the uncrewed test flights are slated for sometime in August, while the crewed Boeing mission is estimated for November and the crewed SpaceX mission for December, according to NASA.

If those flights are successful then NASA will certify the companies for crew rotation missions. The hope is that once certified they will offer low-cost reliable access to low-Earth orbit. NASA awarded both companies contracts in 2014 and both have been working on the spaceflight systems since.

Each company designed its own space suit for crew to wear during the launches and are in the stages of testing them along with the crew modules for launch.