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How do mission designers know at what angle to land on an astronomical body such as the Moon, Mars, or Earth?

Matthew Schewe, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
RELATED TOPICS: SPACE FLIGHT
Landing-angles
A planetary body’s atmosphere controls the angle during entry, descent, and landing from a combination of the gravitational force and atmospheric drag. Venus and Earth have thick atmospheres, so drag slows the entry capsule to the point where it falls straight down to the surface the last few miles.

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