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Difference Between Missile and Rocket

Main Difference

The world of science has produced many wonders which have amazed the humans themselves. It is the hard work of people who are working in this field and have been able to produce these devices in such a manner that they have helped towards learning and betterment of mankind. Defense and space technologies have gain popularity and many advancements have been made in this regard. Scientists have been able to explore not only their world but the space beyond human reach in the past and engineers have been able to develop such devices which are helping not only scientists but also countries in the defense matters. Two terms which seem similar to many people because of the lack of understanding are missile and rockets. They may look similar in structure and they do have functions which are same but the work they do is completely different from each other and will be discussed in this article. The main difference between these two is their applications. A rocket is used to explore space as well as for defense purposes. They are used to transport human and other devices in the space where they are fueled in such a way that they have fast speeds required to travel outside the gravity. Missiles, on the other hand, is a term which is strictly used for just military purposes. They have high speeds are able to navigate through the gravity and friction to reach their target. They both have very high velocities, the ranges are greater but the tasks are different. A rocket needs initial guidance when it is left in the atmosphere and after that follows a straight path which has been programmed while a missile needs constant guidance and is programmed in such a way that it can change its path or quickly follow a new path, this technology is used brilliantly in the ballistic missiles. There are other ways of showing the difference as well but a brief explanation of both these types will be given in the next two paragraphs while differences, in a nutshell, will be given at the end of this article to clarify how they differ.

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Comparison Chart

BasisMissileRocket
Typea term which is strictly used for just military purposes.a device which requires high speed to work outside the atmosphere but also has applications in the defense side of the things.
Usagea missile is never used as a spacecraft.A rocket is sometimes called a spacecraft
Requirementrequire constant instructions to work under different conditions.require initial guidance to work
ConnectionCan be termed as a missileCannot be termed as a missile

What is Rocket?

A rocket is a device which requires high speed to work outside the atmosphere but also has applications in the defense side of the things. A rocket is used to explore space as well as for defense purposes. They are used to transport human and other devices in the space where they are fueled in such a way that they have fast speeds required to travel outside the gravity. They are also known as space crafts while in all the cases they are always known as missiles. They have been used frequently by America and Russian and now even china to increase their presence in space to explore the galaxy at a broader level.

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What is Missile?

Missile is a term which is strictly used for just military purposes. They have high speeds are able to navigate through the gravity and friction to reach their target. They both have very high velocities, the ranges are greater but the tasks are different. They cannot be always called rockets and have high accuracy and the programming is done in such a way that they can change their direction and speed according to the requirement. They have been able to work effectively especially in the case of anti-ballistic system and have been used by several countries to make their defense stronger in case of war.

Key Differences

  1. A rocket is a device which requires high speed to work outside the atmosphere while a missile is a device which requires high accuracy to work within the atmosphere.
  2. A rocket is sometimes called a spacecraft while a missile is never used as a spacecraft.
  3. Rockets require initial guidance to work while missiles require constant instructions to work under different conditions.
  4. A rocket can be termed as missile in all the cases while a missile may not always be a rocket.
  5. A rocket has higher speeds as compared to missiles while a missile has more accuracy as compared to a rocket.
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Comparison Video

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Conclusion

Missile and Rocket are two terms which belong to the same family but are very different from each other. There are many differences between them which have been mentioned above that help in creating a clear understanding of how they differ and then help people how they are working and what exactly goes on between them.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss