Space Exploration Technologies, one of two firms poised to take over U.S. cargo runs to the International Space Station after NASA retires its space shuttles, test-fired its rocket on Saturday in preparation for a Tuesday launch, officials said.

The Falcon rocket's nine liquid oxygen and kerosene-burning engines briefly ignited at 10:50 a.m. EST after two aborted attempts earlier on Saturday and on Friday.

The problems were fixed and the Falcon 9 rocket's engines fired at full power for about two seconds, the company said in a statement on its website.

The company, which also is known as SpaceX and is owned and run by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, plans to launch the rocket Tuesday at 9:03 a.m./1403 GMT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on a demonstration mission for NASA.

The goal of the flight is to put a Dragon capsule into space for a test run around the planet. After as many as four orbits, the capsule is expected to re-enter Earth's atmosphere and parachute into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California.


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