Landing footprint

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The landing footprint of Opportunity rover on Meridiani Planum

After atmospheric reentry, a non-powered spacecraft will land on an area depending upon entry angle, entry mass, atmosphere and drag. It is therefore impossible to know the spacecraft's landing point with absolute precision. By simulating varying reentry courses, a numerical simulation will produce a plot resembling a footprint.

Another name for landing footprint is landing ellipse.

See also

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