SpaceX rocket blasts off for space station test flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Tue May 22, 2012 3:47am EDT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. May 22 (Reuters) - An unmanned Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule owned by Space Exploration Technologies blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Tuesday for a test run to the International Space Station.

The mission is the first by a private company to the $100 billion orbital outpost, a project of 15 countries. NASA is investing in SpaceX, as well as four other companies, to fly cargo and eventually astronauts to the station following the retirement of the space shuttles last summer.

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