As far as I can tell, the terms Suicide burn and Hoverslam have both been invented rather recently (with SpaceX themselves coining Hoverslam and the Kerbal Space Program community loosely credited with Suicide burn) but I'm unsure the exact accepted definition. I've come across two variants/definitions and I'm unsure which is right:
- Suicide burn and Hoverslam are synonyms where Hoverslam was coined by SpaceX to prevent PR problems/negative connotations when describing the Falcon 9 landing procedure.
- Suicide burn indicates a manuever before vertical landing where the engine is run at 100 percent throttle timed exactly so that the rocket's velocity reaches zero when it reaches the ground (and thus reaches a theoretical max efficiency ) while in a Hoverslam the engine is not throttled to 100 percent and instead operates at a lower power level for a longer time and has the ability to increase or decrease throttle, thus making landing easier (and more inefficient).
Which is right? Are both wrong?