Definition of soft landing in US English:

soft landing


  • A controlled landing of a spacecraft during which no serious damage is incurred.

    • ‘The pallet descended to a soft landing under almost two acres of parachutes.’
    • ‘But even a soft landing can still shake up the crew, whose bodies must quickly adjust from zero-gravity to Earth's gravitational pull.’
    • ‘Each of the inexpensive tail cones correctly guides its container to its mark and opens the parachute so it makes a soft landing and is recovered by friendly forces.’
    • ‘He may not have been into space himself, but having helped design re-entry modules to enable soft landings on Earth, Mars, Venus and other planets, he knows what he is talking about.’
    • ‘On January 31, 1966 the USSR launched Luna 9, which made mankind's first soft landing on the Moon.’
    • ‘Foton doesn't rely only on parachutes for its soft landing: there is also a retro-rocket system that ignites as the package nears the ground.’
    • ‘As Hayabusa continued its flight down to the asteroid, it homed in on the Target Marker it dropped onto the surface of Itokawa before its first soft landing on November 20.’
    • ‘After its soft landing, the circular capsule opened like a flower, deploying its antennas, and began transmitting photographs and television images back to Earth’
    • ‘After leaving orbit, the spherical compartment separated from the equipment module and descended through the atmosphere, but it was not designed for a soft landing.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the recovery of the experiment hardware after a nominal soft landing under parachute allows for its re-use in future missions.’
    • ‘While he was flying nothing strange happened, but just moments, before he supposed to crush to the ground, the antigravitational forces come to work and Dimitri had a very soft landing.’
    • ‘Surveyor 1 made a successful soft landing in three centimeters of dust in the Ocean of Storms in June 1966.’
    • ‘A slow rendezvous, or even a soft landing, was totally out of the question: Icarus would be moving too fast by 1968 for a spacecraft to reach it and then reverse direction for a rendezvous.’
    • ‘After being fully decelerated by the atmosphere, the capsule is designed to deploy a parachute for soft-landing.’
    • ‘The Shuttle made a soft landing on the landing pad.’
    • ‘The Stardust spacecraft will return to Earth in January 2006, and its sample return capsule will make a soft landing at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range.’
    • ‘The Soviet Union concentrated on unmanned flights, Luna IX achieving a soft landing on the Moon in 1966.’
    • ‘This mode had the advantage of simplicity but the disadvantage of requiring an enormous and expensive vehicle that could carry the fuel needed to make a soft landing on the Moon and relaunch from the lunar surface.’
    • ‘After being fully decelerated by the atmosphere, the Hayabusa capsule is designed to deploy a parachute for a soft landing in June 2007, in, as it stands now, south Australia.’


soft landing

/ˌsôft ˈlandiNG/