Assuming the spaceplane has no vertical (hover)engines, is there a possibility to land a spaceplane on a celestial body without atmosphere in a horizontal way as if it had one? One could lower the periapsis to (close to) 0 altitude and then use the front deorbit engines to further brake the spaceplane once it touches or gets very close to the surface. But wouldn't the craft still be too fast, killing or severly injuring the crew when touching down? Or is there a way one could decelerate it and follow the planet's curvature (by propulsion, beneath orbital velocity) to eventually touch down softly, assuming the craft has enough fuel?
In such case, would rather a high gravity (e.g. Mercury's) or a low gravity (like Ceres') be of advantage for the landing attempt?