While "ascend" and "climb" mean the same thing here, the sentences do not have the same meaning. In fact, the CNN sentence is nonsense.
Climbing 3000 m means finishing 3000 metres higher than where you started.
Without any other context, climbing to 3000 m means finishing at 3000 m above sea level, with no indication of where the vehicle started.
Both phrases could be correct if the vehicle began at sea level.
But earlier in the sentence, CNN also changed "broke the fastest time" to "achieved the fastest time". On its own, this change would be fine, but the full phrase here is "broke the fastest time to climb to 3000 m by 60 seconds, with a time of 202 seconds.
The "by 60 seconds" phrase indicates by what margin the previous record was surpassed using the structure: [ "break" + a record + "by" + margin ].
There is no equivalent structure like [ "
achieve" + a record + "by" + margin ]
This means the CNN sentence either suggests that the record is: "the fastest time to climb to 3000 m by 1 minute", or that the new record time is both 60 seconds AND 202 seconds. Neither of those interpretations makes any sense.