I was wondering whether there is a limit to the amount in which the perceived g-forces during atmospheric reentry can be reduced by trading fuel consumption for smoothed out deceleration peaks.
To define the concept I had in mind; a certain launcher coming from a certain orbit, say the one of the ISS, has a specific reentry corridor (neglecting skipping reentry and straight drops). And the atmosphere has a specific density distribution along it's altitude, so once a certain window of angles, altitudes and velocities for reentry have been selected, I could imagine it is impossible to slow down any slower than that density/atmospheric drag implies, no matter how much fuel you have left to slow the launcher down before the atmospheric drag becomes too dominant (e.g. >2 G's).
(Or as XY-problem, since I could not find a lot of data:) What generally is the minimal perceived (retrograde) deceleration during for the manned spaceflights to the ISS during atmospheric reentry?