2 parachutes malfunctioned in NASA test flight

Image: The Ares I-X test rocket
The Ares I-X test rocket lifts off successfully from Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.John Raoux / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

NASA says two of three parachutes malfunctioned in the test flight of a prototype moon rocket earlier this week.

The problem caused the Ares I-X booster to slam into the Atlantic Ocean harder than expected. The booster was badly dented by the impact.

Mission manager Bob Ess said Friday the damage is irrelevant because the booster is not meant to fly again. He says the parachute trouble does not detract from the overall success of Wednesday's flight.

All three parachutes on the first-stage booster opened following the two-minute flight. One quickly deflated. Another deployed only part way.

The parachute lines may be to blame, but NASA won't know until it inspects the parts. The recovered booster arrived back at port Friday.