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Hilo, Hawaii News, Sports, & Information Tuesday, October 21, 2014



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Posted: Monday, June 30th, 2014 2:00 PM HST

Mars 'flying saucer' splashes down after NASA test

By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) A NASA vehicle testing new technology that might one day be used to deliver spacecraft and eventually astronauts to Mars 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.

The vehicle then rocketed 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.

Still, NASA officials say it's a pretty good test of the technology.



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