Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace part of historic space project
"This is not merely the result of an urge to explore. This is a technological quantum leap. I am proud that a Norwegian enterprise like Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA) has developed test equipment and software for such an exciting, prestigious project", remarked Børge Brende, Norway's very pleased minister of Industry and Space. Along with 140 other enthusiastic space fans, on Friday, 14 January, he was at Norwegian Space Centre to witness the space probe Huygens' historic landing on Titan, one of Saturn's moons.
"Aerospace is profoundly important for Norwegian business and industry. The cutting edge expertise being developed here can benefit high-technology companies like Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace in other contexts as well", stated Brende, who believes there will be many space-related jobs in Norway in the future.
Success for KDA
Huygens' successful landing on Titan marked a success for KDA. Following Brende's words of praise, Harald Sørensen, head of the software department at KDA's profit centre for Aerospace and Missiles, explained to the Minister of Trade and Industry and the attentive audience of space fans how KONGSBERG contributed to the Cassini- Huygens expedition.
"We developed software and supplied testing equipment for the Huygens probe. Moreover, we produced a circuit board for a Cassini plasma spectrometer (CAPS) developed by the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. Several of our co-workers also spent time in Germany and the USA to perform tests and help integrate Huygens into the Cassini mothership", recounts Sørensen. Along with happy, proud colleagues at KDA, he breathed a sigh of relief when the successful results began to come in.
"I feel like the knot in my stomach is finally disappearing. Succeeding with such a prestigious project is a wonderful feeling. This will help generate interest and recruitment to science and space research", smiles a happy and excited Jon E. Kvistedal, KDA's marketing manager.
The boldest space project ever
After seven years of hurling through space, the Huygens space probe landed safely on Saturn's moon Titan on Friday, 14 January, at 12.30 p.m. Norwegian time.
"This is already an engineering success. Now we see that it is also a scientific success", remarked Jean-Jacques Dordain, director general of the European Space Agency, during a live broadcast from the press conference in Darmstadt. At that point, the 140 enthusiastic space fans couldn't help but rejoice. Late Friday night, the first pictures began coming back from the expedition which space experts are calling the boldest space project ever in terms of technology.
Børge Brende was proud of the work Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace did in connection with the Huygens space probe's successful landing on Titan. Here, chatting pleasantly with Harald Sørensen and Jon E. Kvistedal of KDA.