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Using rocket boosters to land

You can see a huge flying machine or spacecraft hovering about effortlessly like a balloon or airship, and then it comes time to land on the planet's surface and suddenly it has to make an effort by firing rocket boosters just to land!

Most famous for this is Thunderbird2, which could float about in air almost weightless, but then the landing required a lot of blasting and some smoke.

Where the idea comes from is hard to say. It's true that airliners seem to have a curious transition from soaring flying machines to speeding road vehicles on landing. Also, in rocket powered lunar landings, actual moon landings and lunar lander games, the most efficient approach is to fall like a brick and then fire the rockets towards the end. However, neither of these cases defy the known laws of physics, whereas the requirement to suddenly use boosters for landing a previously hovering machine is another matter.

Now if the spacecraft was kept hovering by anti-grav, and then this had to be turned off and a powered landing performed, that would make sense. But then, if it were anti-grav, the craft could surely just make a soft landing anyway.

Another thought: Maybe it's a misunderstand about Rocket Science. Actual rockets work by reaction, not by pushing against the ground!


Take a look at a few science fiction movies yourself at the Video and DVD shops