Descent Control Sub-System (DCs) of the Huygens probe, 1997.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Casini-Huygens mision was launched in 1997 to explore Saturn and its moon Titan. The mision is due to arrive in orbit around Saturn on 1st July, 2004, and the Huygens probe should descend into Titan's atmosphere on 14th January, 2005. The apparatus here is part of the parachute system that will slow the Huygens space probe from Mach 1.48 as it enters Titan's atmosphere and descends to the surface. This one of three parachute jettison mechanisms has a rod (with orange collar) which is broken by an internal charge to release the bridle. Manufactured by Martin Baker Aircraft Co Ltd.