LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — A saucer-shaped NASA vehicle testing new technology for Mars landings has made a successful rocket ride over the Pacific but its massive descent parachute only partially unfurled.
The Low Density Supersonic Decelerator was lifted by balloon 120,000 feet into the air from the Hawaiian island of Kauai on Saturday.READ MORE: FDA Clears Johnson & Johnson's Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine for Immediate Use
The vehicle then rocketed even higher before deploying a novel inflatable braking system.
But control cheers rapidly died as a gigantic chute designed to slow its fall to splashdown in the ocean emerged tangled.READ MORE: Sacramento Doctor Appears in Virtual Traffic Court While Performing Surgery
Still, NASA officials say it’s a pretty good test of technology that might one day be used to deliver heavy spacecraft — and eventually astronauts — to Mars.
NASA plans a news conference on the flight Sunday.MORE NEWS: San Francisco Police Return Stolen Puppy to Richmond Family
© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed