Future planetary exploration missions will require safe and precision soft-landing to target scientifically interesting sites near hazardous terrain features, such as escarpments, craters, slopes, and rocks. Although the landing accuracy has steadily improved over time to approximately 35 km for the recent Mars Exploration Rovers due to better approach navigation, a drastically different guidance, navigation and control concept is required to meet future mission requirements. For example, future rovers will require better than 6 km landing accuracy for Mars and better than 1 km for the Moon plus 100 m maneuvering capability to avoid hazards. Laser Radar or Lidar technology can be the key to meeting these objectives since it can provide highresolution 3-D maps of the terrain, accurately measure ground proximity and velocity, and determine atmospheric pressure and wind velocity. These lidar capabilities can enable the landers of the future to identify the pre-selected landing zone and hazardous terrain features within it, determine the optimum flight path, having atmospheric pressure and winds data, and accurately navigate using precision ground proximity and velocity data. This paper examines the potential of lidar technology in future human and robotic missions to the Moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies. A guidance and navigation control architecture concept utilizing lidar sensors will be presented and its operation will be described. The performance and physical requirements of the lidar sensors will be also discussed.