The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, literally meaning "to send". They are basically rockets which are meant for destructive purposes only. Rocket-powered missiles are known as rockets...
The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, literally meaning "to send". They are basically rockets which are meant for destructive purposes only. Rocket-powered missiles are known as rockets if they lack post-launch guidance or missiles or guided missiles if they are able to continue tracking a target after launch. Cruise missiles typically use some form of jet engine for propulsion.
Missiles are often used in warfare as a means of delivering destructive force (usually in the form of an explosive warhead) upon a target. Aside from explosives, other possible types of destructive missile payloads are various forms of chemical or biological agents, nuclear warheads, or simple kinetic energy (where the missile destroys the target by the force of striking it at high speed). Sometimes missiles are used to deliver payloads designed to break infrastructure without harming people. For example, in the Persian Gulf War cruise missiles were used to deliver reels of carbon filament to electricity stations and switches, effectively disabling them by forming short circuits. Missiles which spend most of their trajectory in un-powered flight, and which don't use aerodynamics to alter their course, are known as ballistic missiles (because their motion is largely governed by the laws of ballistics). These are in contrast to cruise missiles, which spend most of their trajectory in powered flight.
Guided missiles are made up of a series of sub assemblies. The major sections are carefully joined and connected to each other. They form the complete missile assembly. The major components of a missile are:
The guidance and control section
The target detector section
The rocket motor section.