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NASA tests new technology for Mars voyages

Los Angeles

NASA tests new technology for Mars voyages

A saucer-shaped NASA vehicle testing new technology for Mars landings rocketed high over the Pacific on Saturday and deployed a novel inflatable braking system, but its massive parachute failed to fully unfurl as it descended to a splashdown. Control room cheers that greeted successful steps in the complex test rapidly died as the parachute appeared to emerge tangled. The vehicle, called the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator, was testing methods for slowing big, heavy spacecraft hurtling into the thin Martian atmosphere. Despite the problem, "what we just saw was a really good test," said NASA engineer Dan Coatta with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Ukraine

Pro-Russian rebels free 4 observers

Pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine on Saturday released a second team of observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who had been held captive since the end of May, the organization said. OSCE lost contact with four monitors from its Donetsk team and four monitors from its Luhansk team in late May. The members of the Donetsk team were freed earlier last week. At a European Union summit Friday in Brussels, leaders called on the rebels to release all captives.

Elsewhere

New York: Online-streaming service Aereo Inc. said Saturday that it is temporarily closing down its operation, three days after it was dealt an unfavorable ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Los Angeles: California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that recognizes the legal use of Bitcoins and other digital currencies in the state.

Taiwan: A Chinese envoy on a historic visit to Taiwan on Saturday canceled two events after protesters, who are opposed to closer ties with Beijing, threw paint on his motorcade.

Egypt: Egypt's military said Saturday that a device it claimed in February to have invented to cure AIDS and hepatitis C needs six more months of testing.

Argentina: Vice President Amado Boudou was charged in a corruption case in which he is accused of abusing his power to gain control of a company that printed the nation's currency.

Times wires

NASA tests new technology for Mars voyages 06/28/14 [Last modified: Saturday, June 28, 2014 11:19pm]
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  1. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Rays' Blake Snell erasing memories of his poor start

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — As Blake Snell strides up the mound at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night with an 10-game unbeaten streak, doesn't the miserable start to his sophomore season, when he was winless in eight starts and got demoted to Triple-A, seem like a long time ago?

    To him, too.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) in the dugout during the fourth inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  3. St. Petersburg youth baseball concession stand vandalized

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — The early-morning phone call warned Charles Castle, president of Burg Baseball, to "expect the worst.'' The organization's concession stand had been vandalized.

     Cliff Williams, Vice President of the Burg Baseball Inc., St. Petersburg, looks at a damaged and trashed concession stand at the Lakewood Baseball Complex, home of the Burg Baseball. According to Williams someone vandalized the concession stand either Saturday or Sunday. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times

  4. Tampa charter school teacher charged with firing handgun at ground

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa charter school teacher was arrested Sunday after she fired a gun into the ground during a dispute with her boyfriend, police said.

    Melody Patrice Bing, a teacher at the Village of Excellence Academy in Tampa, emerged from her home holding a weapon and dropped it when police confronted her at gunpoint. [Tampa Police Department]
  5. Tuesday's Nothing More concert moved from the State Theatre to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg

    Blogs

    Nothing More was one of the highlights of April's 98 Rockfest, a thoroughly entertaining rock outfit with a larger-than-live stage presence.

    Nothing More performed at 98 Rockfest 2017 in Tampa.