NASA is still perplexed over the parachute failure that damaged its new Ares I-X test rocket during its October test launch, but otherwise the debut flight went well, mission managers said.

The $445 million suborbital Ares I-X rocket, NASA’s first prototype of the vehicle it plans to carry humans to orbit after the space shuttles retire, blasted off Oct. 28 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It soared eastward into the sky, peaked at about 28 miles altitude, then the solid-rocket first stage separated from its dummy second stage and dropped into the ocean as planned.

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