When the joint NASA-ESA Cassini/Huygens mission blasts off on its seven-year journey towards the Saturn moon Titan in October, technology pioneered by British firm Martin Baker will be central to ensuring the probe's safe landing in 2004.

The partnership mission will map out several milestones in space - the first time a craft has orbited Saturn and the first mission to land on a moon other than Earth's.

Martin Baker has been involved in a four-year development plan to test a range of parachute systems with the primary aim of guaranteeing a stable and controlled landing approach to the ringed planet.

The parachute and heatshield systems will need to be hugely robust, first coping with a two-hour plus entry through Saturn's atmosphere, when they will be exposed to searing temperatures, then combating the extreme cold of the planet's nitrogen rich environment.


Source: Flight Daily News