I'm working of a short story of the sci-fi nature, and I'm indecisive about one of the finer details. The plot of the short revolves around combined arms warfare in the future. The particular operation in the narrative involves an insertion of men and materials from orbit. (Kind of like paratroopers, only from much higher.) Capsules would carry men, equipment, vehicles, UAV/UGV's, etc. from orbit into the area of operations on the ground. So, the problem I'm running into is heat, heat shields, and stealth. I find it pretty implausible that any kind of heat shield material or shape could be made in such a way that it would be radar absorbent, refractive and stealthy. Also, if the targets on the ground see a batch of bright falling stars, I think they'd surmise what is happening, and begin calculating possible landing zones based on the trajectory of the falling objects. So far, I'm thinking that an insertion from orbit cannot be completely stealthy. So I'm looking for the best insertion path, a wide shallow entry where your fall rate is less than your linear flight rate, or a steep entry where you punch right through the atmosphere until you slow down? Perhaps somewhere in-between? I think the shallow entry would reduce the amount of heat required to be dealt with, but the steep entry would get the window of vulnerability over with much quicker. The answer may be a bit subjective, but the ultimate goal would be to enter dark, atmospheric/slow flight as quickly as possible, so that the radar reflective heat shields could be jettisoned, the re-entry capsules aren't bright flaming orbs in the sky, and the stealth design of the re-entry vehicles can hide the trajectory of the craft from radar.