Soft Landing

Also found in: Dictionary, Financial, Wikipedia.
Related to Soft Landing: hard landing

soft landing

[′sȯft ′land·iŋ]
(aerospace engineering)
The act of landing on the surface of a planet or moon without damage to any portion of the vehicle or payload, except possibly the landing gear.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Soft Landing


of a space vehicle, a landing in which the velocity of the vehicle at the moment of contact with the surface of a planet or other celestial body is minimal (or in the ideal case, zero).

A soft landing is designed to ensure that the structure and systems of a vehicle will remain intact and that the vehicle will be able to continue functioning. The soft landing of winged vehicles (which have wing and body lift), for example, on planets with a sufficiently dense atmosphere necessitates gliding at low speeds and the ability to complete an airplane-type landing. In order to make a soft landing with space vehicles of axisymmetric shape (which have less lift), the vehicles must have deployable landing systems, such as a gliding parachute, paraglider, or rotor system (a type of helicopter rotors). In vehicles with a gliding parachute, additional devices, such as retrorockets, are installed to damp impact upon landing. The soft landing of a spaceship on celestial bodies that lack an atmosphere is accomplished by complete damping of the descent velocity by means of a retrorocket or special shock absorbers.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The measured pace at which the Fed is raising interest rates increases the chances of a soft landing, while the uncontrollable nature of unwinding a speculative property bubble makes a hard landing more likely.
SOFT LANDING: Bumped upstairs to a higher position at Interior.
economy is likely to engineer a soft landing amid a bright outlook as growth rebounds and inflation cools, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday.
The national soft landing scenario views the evolving housing slowdown as a downward adjustment from unsustainable rates of activity rather than as a classic cyclical contraction.
Unfortunately, as Novak points out, even the masterful Greenspan made only one of three of these soft landings successfully.
''If this year the Chinese economy continues to grow by 9 percent and next year around 9 percent, a gradual slowdown may be likely and possible, (and) a kind of soft landing is likely in China,'' he said.
The group said the 'soft landing' it predicted for the housing market at the end of last year was coming true as a challenging first quarter had been followed by a steady recovery in the three months to June 30.
Speaking about the difficult task of conducting a soft landing on the Moon, Dr Sivan called it "15 terrifying minutes." Earlier during the day, members of the press were given the opportunity to view Chandrayaan- 2 orbiter and lander at ISRO Satellite Integration and Test Establishment (ISITE), Bengaluru.
Think tank sees soft landing for Philippine economy !-- -- MANILA, Philippines Amid the slowdown in the global economy, a soft landing can be expected for the Philippines this year, UK-based Oxford Economics said in a research brief yesterday.
"We perceive ourselves not as a real estate player only; we also see ourselves as a moderator; and for a moderator role, all of us know that in real estate you can have two scenarios, either you have a crash or a soft landing," al-Mohannadi told Gulf Times.
Jade Rabbit 2 drove off a ramp the previous night and onto the soft, powdery surface after a Chinese spacecraft made the first-ever soft landing on the moon's far side.