Arrival at a surface

This chapter covers the final moments of descent towards, and contact with, a solid (or, as in the case of Titan, possibly liquid) surface. We deal with the issues of surviving impact to deliver a working spacecraft to the surface. This usually requires some sort of prior deceleration achieved during descent. Active guidance, navigation and control can also be performed to avoid hazards and locate a safe landing site. Having arrived, the impact may be damped within the vehicle alone, or by also using the deformability of the surface.

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