The flight-test of the separation mechanisms and parachutes for the Huygens space probe, scheduled to land on Saturn moon Titan, has been completed by the European Space Agency, Aerospatiale and French space agency CNES.

An engineering model of the Huygens, which will be placed piggyback on the NASA Cassini spacecraft, to be launched in 1997, was carried by a balloon to an altitude of 37km and dropped. The entire sequence of jettisoning thermal shields, opening various Martin-Baker parachutes, concluded with a perfect landing, says Aerospatiale.

Source: Flight International