A ball-shaped artificial intelligence robot nicknamed the "flying brain" because it is trained to follow and interact with a German astronaut, blasted off Friday toward the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship. A new, spare hand for the station's robotic arm, an experiment to measure plant stress in space and a study of a new cancer treatment were also on board as the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:42 am (0942 GMT). "We have ignition and liftoff! The Falcon 9 rocket powers the Dragon spacecraft toward the International Space Station," said a NASA commentator as the white rocket fired its engines and lit up the skies on a dark, Florida morning. read more Disclaimer: Chances are that this post was requested by an advertiser.