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Private rocket can try again Tuesday

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A new private supply ship for the International Space Station remained stuck on the ground Saturday after rocket engine trouble led to a last-second abort of the historic flight.

All nine engines for the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket roared to life, but with a mere half-second remaining before liftoff, the onboard computers automatically shut everything down at 4:55 a.m. So instead of blasting off on a delivery mission to the space station, the rocket stayed on its launchpad amid a plume of engine exhaust.

SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said that high combustion chamber pressure in engine No. 5 was to blame. Engineers later discovered a faulty valve and were replacing it.

Tuesday is the earliest that SpaceX can try again to send its cargo-laden Dragon capsule to the space station.

This was the first launch attempt by one of the several private U.S. companies hoping to take over the job of delivering cargo and eventually astronauts to the space station for NASA. -- AP

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