With this I mean using elastic energy to land and possibly reuse this energy at takeoff. So that the "spring" will remain in the compressed state between landing an takeoff by locking it in to place.
So I refer to storing energy in the landing gear, instead of just absorbing and dissipating it.
The advantages I can think of are:
- No/less need rockets at touchdown, so less dust will be blown from the surface into a cloud at the landing site.
- Less fuel is needed to land and takeoff.
- Mechanical potential energy seems more reliable that rocket engines, which have to pump fuel, ignite, ect.
The disadvantages I can think of are:
- If it fails it can have more devastating results as a leak in a fuel tank, since the fuels needs to be combined and given activation energy for it to release its potential chemical energy.
- The fuel needed to bring the "spring" with you might be more than you gain from it.