(CNN) -- A private spacecraft docked with the International Space Station on Friday, a milestone in a new era of commercial space flight.
The docking happened just before 10 a.m., almost two hours later than planned. A radar system aboard the unmanned SpaceX Dragon that measures distance to the station had picked up a different part of the space station, meaning it could not dock properly, NASA said. ...
... The launch is an important step for NASA and the United States, which currently has no means of independently reaching space. NASA relies on the Russian space agency to ferry U.S. astronauts to orbit.
The first attempt to launch Falcon 9 was halted Saturday when a flight computer detected high pressure in an engine combustion chamber. Workers replaced the valve Saturday, SpaceX said.
The company plans 11 more flights to the space station.
One of a handful of private companies receiving funds from NASA to develop a space taxi system, SpaceX hopes the experience with the cargo flights will help the company reach its goal of carrying astronauts aboard the Dragon.
The company is developing a heavy-lift rocket with twice the cargo capability of the space shuttle, and also dreams of building a spacecraft that could carry a crew to Mars. ...
When the price of a tourist flight gets below about one year's salary, I'm buying a ticket! ;-)