The Associated Press reports that "NASA has tested new technology designed to bring spacecraft — and one day even astronauts — safely down to Mars, with the agency declaring the experiment a qualified success even though a giant parachute got tangled on the way down."
"Saturday’s $150 million experiment is the first of three involving the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator vehicle. Tests are being conducted at high altitude on Earth to mimic descent through the thin atmosphere of the Red Planet."
"A balloon hauled the saucer-shaped craft 120,000 feet into the sky from a Navy missile range on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Then, the craft’s own rocket boosted it to more than 30 miles high at supersonic speeds."