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Lunar Lander Leg Rotator

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Uploaded on Nov 20, 2009

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The lunar lander leg rotator is designed to allow the lander's legs to unfold from the stowed position into the landing position. The legs of the lander are stowed in an inverted position during the initial ascent from Earth. The legs then fold outward 70º and then rotate 180º so that they are in the landing position. Inside of the leg rotator is the leg spool, main frame, Z-axis lock plug, leg spool lock detent , #1 X-axis lock plug, #2 X-axis lock plug, and the main frame bolt. In the launch configuration, the #1 X-axis lock plug is engaged which prevents the leg rotator from rotating about the X axis (with the center of the leg spool as the origin). The lander leg is held in the vertical position by a latching mechanism.
Inside of the leg spool and base plate are pretensioned springs that will unfold the leg. Prior to launch the springs are wound and the leg is cocked so that it will unfold. In order to deploy the leg one only has to release the latch that holds the leg in the vertical position. Once the leg is free to rotate about the Z axis then spring tension will rotate it 70º counterclockwise.
After the leg is released it rotates 70º counterclockwise. After it has rotated 60º the cable that connects the leg to the #1 X-axis lock plug will pull the lock plug out of the base plate detent which allows the leg to rotate around the X axis. When the leg has rotated 70º counterclockwise two Z-axis lock plugs (one per side) engage the leg spool lock detent which is an arc so as to allow extra movement during the landing impact. The buffer spring absorbs the impact of the leg extending.
Once the #1 X-axis lock plug is removed the leg can begin to rotate under spring tension about the X axis. The leg will rotate 180º and then the #2 X-axis lock plug will be pushed (by a spring) into the same detent in the base plate which will lock the leg in the down position. Once the #2 X-axis plug is engaged it is impossible to rotate the leg without disassembling the mechanism (by removing the main frame bolt).
For drawings of the leg rotator see the following link:
http://www.reddit.com/r/tothemoon/shi...

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