Landing is the last part of a flight, where a flying animal, aircraft, or spacecraft returns to the ground. When the flying object returns to water, the process is called alighting, although it is commonly called "landing" and "touchdown" as well. A normal aircraft flight would include several parts of flight including taxi, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent and landing. This article describes the last portion of flight as the plane, bird, or rocket touches the ground. Landing occurs after descent.
While inflight the four major forces acting on the object are; lift, thrust, gravity and drag. Flying is accomplished by generating enough lift to offset gravity to stay in the air. See the picture of the wing describing the four forces.
To land the airspeed and the rate of descent are reduced to where the object descends at a slow enough rate to allow for a gentle touch down.