Private spaceflight company SpaceX will try to launch its Falcon rocket and Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on Tuesday morning, U.S. space agency NASA announced Monday.
"SpaceX has confirmed the rocket is on track to launch Tuesday, May 22 at 3:44 a.m. EDT. (0744 GMT)," NASA said in a statement.
The test flight was originally scheduled to occur on April 30, but has been delayed several times due to technical glitches and final checks of the spacecraft's flight software. The latest launch attempt was scrubbed at the last second on Saturday morning when computers detected high pressure in the central engine of the Falcon 9. SpaceX engineers discovered the root cause was a faulty check valve and repairs were complete later Sunday.
If all goes well, the ship will be the first operated by a private company, rather than the government, to supply the space station.
NASA is looking to the private sector, in this post-shuttle era, to get American astronauts launching again from U.S. soil. It will be at least four to five years before SpaceX or any other private operator is capable of flying astronauts.