US Class244/100RLANDING GEAR
- 10 2010 004 571.3 DE 01/04/2010
Issued Patent Number:8413927
A pivotal connection and a substantially rigid yet disruptable mechanical connection mount a respective foot pad on a distal end of each one of plural landing legs of a lander spacecraft. The mechanical connection includes at least one predetermined rated breaking point designed to break when the foot pad makes contact with a landing ground surface. At least two sensor elements, preferably electrical conductors or switches, are incorporated in the mechanical connection(s) of one or more foot pads. When the foot pad makes ground contact, the mechanical connection breaks at the rated breaking point(s), which also disrupts or actuates the sensor element(s), which thus provides a signal to an evaluating unit, which triggers the shut-down of at least one braking retrorocket or retrothruster.