You need to purchase the planet landing equipment first. ( I forget what it's called, but if you go to a sufficiently high tech planet it should be available as one of the things you can buy. )
As you said, you also need Heat Shielding and Docking Computers.
Planetary Landing Capability is quite expensive, as far as I remember its something like 20,000 cr.
When you have all three requirements, you must do the final approach at a crawl, I always approach with my speed in the green area. I usually inject speed until the altimeter is about 10 pixels from zero and then slow right down to the green speed indicator.
However I have found that sometimes (about 1 in every 5 or 6 times) when you launch from the surface you sometimes crash on launching. Nothing you can do about it.
Maybe you could start a Kickstarter Campaign to found your £4500 pledge.
Thanks to Gimi, I got an eBook in my inbox tonight (31st May 2014 - Release of Elite Reclamation)!