"The initiation sequence had started but there was a cutoff," said NASA commentator George Diller. A SpaceX spokesman said engineers would look into the causes, and the launch would not take place on Saturday.
"The computer checks all of the engine elemetry," said the spokesman on SpaceX's live broadcast of the event. "We detected something was wrong with one of the limits" on one of the rocket's nine engines.
The next opportunity for launch is at 3:44 am on Tuesday, May 22, according to NASA.
The launch will mark the first-of-its kind attempt to send a privately built spacecraft to the research outpost, where it plans to do a fly-under followed by a berthing in the following days.
SpaceX is the first of several US competitors to try sending its own cargo-bearing spacecraft to the ISS with the goal of restoring US access to space for human travelers by 2015.