The Boeing company is going to launch a test capsule to the International Space Station (ISS), the BBC reports.
Known as Starliner, the vehicle will be flying uncrewed on this occasion.
But if it performs without incident, astronauts will start using the craft next year.
Lift-off atop an Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is scheduled for 06:36 local time (11:36 GMT) on Friday.
The automated mission to the ISS should last a week. The capsule will come home to New Mexico, using parachutes and airbags to make a soft landing on desert terrain in the early hours of 28 December.
Not since 2011, when the shuttles were retired, have Americans launched from their own soil; US astronauts have been hitching rides in Russian Soyuz capsules instead.