NASA chief Jim Bridenstine on Friday spoke highly of the contributions Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi can make as a member of an upcoming mission that will take him and three others to the International Space Station aboard a commercial U.S. spacecraft.

"He's not just a Japanese hero. He's an American hero. ... I look forward to all the amazing things that Soichi Noguchi is going to do on the International Space Station," Bridenstine said at a news conference at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the planned launch of the Crew Dragon ship developed by U.S. aerospace manufacturer SpaceX.

NASA on Friday pushed back the launch one day to Sunday evening, citing weather conditions. NASA and SpaceX are now planning the launch of the Crew Dragon space capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket for 7:27 p.m. Sunday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The capsule is expected to dock at the International Space Station at about 11 p.m. Monday.