WASHINGTON, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Privately funded Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 9 rocket lifted off on Friday afternoon following an initial pad abort because an engine parameter fell out of limits.
The Falcon 9 is carrying a mock-up of the company's spacecraft, named Dragon. The goal of the test flight is to put the capsule into orbit.
NASA plans to use Dragon to fly cargo -- and perhaps astronauts -- to the International Space Station.
NASA is retiring its shuttle fleet after two more flights this year to complete assembly of the station, a $100 billion project of 16 nations. No replacement is planned under the NASA budget proposal for the year beginning Oct. 1, which is pending before Congress.