What is the mechanism and what medium is used in the actuators to open the legs of the Falcon 9 First Stage on landing?


The mechanism is a pneumatic cylinder. The cylinder is actuated by a bottle of high-pressure helium.

F9 Landing leg

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you know what sort of fluid is used and how it is pressurised? $\endgroup$ – andrew Jan 18 '16 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ Huh! I'd swear I heard that the legs are actuated by a pneumatic system powered by high-pressure helium... Was there a change? $\endgroup$ – radex Jan 18 '16 at 16:37
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    $\begingroup$ The spaceflight101 article you've linked to says so: "During flight, the legs are stowed against the rocket body. (...) Deployment is accomplished by a pneumatic system using high-pressure helium." $\endgroup$ – radex Jan 18 '16 at 16:38
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    $\begingroup$ Sorted. It's annoying that the only primary source on this is a photo published on Twitter with a one-line comment. NTRS it ain't. $\endgroup$ – Hobbes Jan 18 '16 at 18:23

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