One Small Step for Helifilms
A British aerial filming business played a small part in last month’s successful landing of a European Space Agency probe on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. Helifilms, the firm that delivered the aerial TV pictures at last year’s Athens Olympics (AIN, October 2004, page 113), helped develop the drogue parachutes that lowered the probe safely onto the moon’s surface.
Partner Jerry Grayson recalls, “We remained on standby during much of 1994 and 1995, waiting for days when the dawn wind in southern England was light enough to allow us to drop the space vehicle from beneath our JetRanger. When the opportunities arose, as the spacecraft fell away from the helicopter we recorded the opening of each parachute, using ultra-high-speed cameras and other precision instrument