Soft Landing

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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.

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.

G. A. NAZAROV

References in periodicals archive ?
As late as last week, we even saw the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet get a soft landing as Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife - on the very day he was exiting office.
The first soft landing on the Moon was accomplished by the Soviet Union on February 3, 1966, when Luna 9 eased onto Oceanus Procellarum and returned images of that lunar terrain.
I say "of course" here because, if there is one thing we love more than civilization (with its soft landings and warm, dry clothes and trips everywhere that don't even require leaving the family room in the house in the cul-de-sac in the suburbs) it is our memories of that frontier dream, our nostalgia.
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