Officials believe they have identified the location of the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder, one day after the passenger plane carrying 62 people crashed.
American Airlines ferried passengers from Miami to New York on the first flight.
The nation’s air safety agency allows the jet to resume flying after two years of review since a pair of deadly crashes.
Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson said it was a difficult decision, but said he has several commitments “which I simply cannot risk missing.”
The Transportation Committee issued the scathing report Wednesday following an 18-month investigation into two deadly 737 Max jet crashes.
The return of the company's top-selling aircraft, which has been grounded since March, was originally supposed to happen much sooner.
Dennis Muilenberg was replaced after a year of controversy that included the grounding of Boeing 737 Max jets.
The crew capsule, which was built for NASA, had ended up in the wrong orbit after its launch on Friday because of an issue with the spacecraft's internal clock.
A protesting Santa, a rescued orangutan and a walking Christmas tree are some of this week's best images.
The company has no immediate layoffs planned when the production freeze goes into effect in January.