The launch of the $3 billion NASA Cassini Saturn orbiter and its European Space Agency Huygens Titan moon probe has been delayed from 6 October.

The Huygens probe has been damaged on the launch pad and the spacecraft have been removed from the Titan 4 launcher and returned to the processing building at Cape Canaveral.

Excessive cooling airflow to the craft in the Titan 4 payload shroud tore a 50mm part of the outer insulation blanket on the Huygens, also causing damage to its internal foam insulation.

The launch must be made by 4 November or the planetary launch window will be missed (Flight International, 7-13 August, 1996).

Source: Flight International