The question What is the largest delta-v ever produced in space from mechanically stored energy? asks of course about the delta-v produced, but here I'm asking about the largest amount of stored energy.

update: since there are a variety of ways to store energy, and since there are no answers, I'll narrow this down to springs and other mechanical devices which use mechanical stress/strain in solid materials.

Here's an example of a big spring pushing the first and second stages of an Antares rocket apart, from Scott Manley's video The Antares Rocket - NASA's Less Famous Ride To The Space Station:

The Antares Rocket - NASA's Less Famous Ride To The Space Station GIF

As another example there is a Falcon 9 "pusher"; a central rod from the first stage that extends through the nozzle of the 2nd stage engine and pushes on the back of the combustion chamber. For more see

Question: What is the largest energy stored in a spring or other mechanical devices which use mechanical stress/strain ever put in space? Ideally this should be intentionally stored mechanical energy.

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    $\begingroup$ It's going to be a flywheel $\endgroup$ – Antzi Jun 7 '19 at 6:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Antzi I'd prefer an answer that mentions intentional storage of energy, I'll edit the question to reflect my preference. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jun 7 '19 at 6:39
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    $\begingroup$ Might be a bolo despin system. It drains the spin energy of the entire spacecraft before being discarded into space. $\endgroup$ – SF. Jun 7 '19 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh: Angular momentum is inseparably bound with rotary kinetic energy. But it's energy stored only for discarding, not reuse, so I acknowledge this is not what you're asking about. $\endgroup$ – SF. Jun 7 '19 at 9:20
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    $\begingroup$ are pneumatics and hydraulics mechanical, in which case pressure fed tanks may be a candidate... $\endgroup$ – JCRM Jun 7 '19 at 10:51

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