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A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle that obtains thrust from a rocket engine. Rocket engine exhaust is formed entirely from propellant carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction and push rockets forward simply by expelling their exhaust in the opposite direction at high speed, and can therefore work in the vacuum of space.

Some military weapons use rockets to propel warheads to their targets. A rocket and its payload together are generally referred to as a missile when the weapon has a guidance system (not all missiles use rocket engines, some use other engines such as jets) or as a rocket if it is unguided. Anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles use rocket engines to engage targets at high speed at a range of several miles, while intercontinental ballistic missiles can be used to deliver multiple nuclear warheads from thousands of miles, and anti-ballistic missiles try to stop them.

Rockets for military and recreational uses date back to at least 13th century China. These were arrow-like devices running on gunpowder, and were later used by the Mongols in their invasion of Europe in 1223. The British developed the Congreve rocket in the 19th century, which was later deployed in the War of 1812, whose use would be referenced in the American national anthem as "the rockets red glare."

Examples by use

Vehicle propulsion

Weapon launchers


Smallwikipedialogo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Rocket. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Metal Gear Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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