Rocket/missile

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  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    missile - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    1 an object or weapon propelled at a target, as a stone, bullet, etc.:Rocks, stones, and other flying missiles came down on their heads.
    Regardless of whether you use a sling with a stone or a launcher with a rocket and a warhead, the weapon part is a missile.

    NASA's Saturn V rocket is not a missile because we are not using the astronauts as weapons or merely throwing them at the moon. ;)
     

    Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Do you have a specific example?
    Homing Launchers.
    There is no such phrase in English. What purpose does the thing you're talking about serve, and how is it propelled?

    "Missiles" are always weapons, so anything that isn't a weapon isn't a missile. Although historically it can include arrows (launched by bows) and javelins and such, and some other modern things like bombs or grenades or even bullets could fit in as a technicality, in modern armed forces that word is really is only used for weapons which have built-in propulsion and guidance. For example, Hydra rockets (launched from containers protruding from the sides of a helicopter) are called rockets, not missiles, because they lack guidance and will simply fly in the direction they were pointed when they were launched. And even the most sophisticated self-guided bombs like JSOW, NSM/JSM, and SDB are bombs, not missiles, because they lack any kind of engine and only steer themselves to a target while falling/gliding. (One of the former even comes in an alternative version with an engine attached to extend its range, which converts it from a bomb into a missile.) Notice that unguided rockets like Hydras give us a reason not to call a missile a "rocket" even if the missile is rocket-propelled, because "rocket" as a noun implies no guidance and missiles have guidance.

    A rocket is a type of engine used to propel flying machines, and the word can sometimes be used for the whole machine that is propelled by a rocket engine (but not if it's a missile). So anything which isn't and doesn't use that type of engine is not a rocket. Rocket and jet engines are similar but distinct; both lack propellers and contain chemical reactions from which the reaction products blow out through a hole in the back called a "nozzle", but jets must take air in at the front, and rockets don't. There are rockets that aren't missiles (because they aren't meant to be used as weapons) and missiles that don't use rocket engines (because they use jet engines instead).
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    It does not appear that the OP has bothered to check our dictionary for missile
    Well, the dictionary says the exactly same things that other dictionaries say, but that doesn't helped me that much since they don't have comprehensive information about the topic. I thought you told me that dictionaries don't show everything.:) In military usage, there is actually a difference between a rocket and a missile even though both of them are used as weapons and some missiles use rocket engines.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Well, the dictionary says the exactly same things that other dictionaries say. But that doesn't helped me that much since they don't have comprehensive information about the topic.
    missile - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    1 an object or weapon propelled at a target, as a stone, bullet, etc.:
    2 a rocket-propelled weapon:

    rocket - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    1 a tubelike device containing material that burns rapidly and propels the tube through the air:

    A rocket propels something.
    A missile (meaning 1) is something that is propelled by something (an arm, a sling, a bow, ...). A missile (meaning 2) is a missile (meaning 1) propelled by a rocket.

    We call a bow-propelled missile an arrow. The bow is not attached to the arrow and stays behind.
    We call a rocket-propelled missile (meaning 1) a missile (meaning 2). The rocket is attached to the missile(meaning 1) and travels with it to propel it.

    A torpedo is very like a missile (meaning 2) in that it is a weapon and has something that propels it that is part of it. There have been some rocket-propelled torpedoes but they didn't work very well.
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    missile - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    1 an object or weapon propelled at a target, as a stone, bullet, etc.:
    2 a rocket-propelled weapon:

    rocket - WordReference.com Dictionary of English
    1 a tubelike device containing material that burns rapidly and propels the tube through the air:

    A rocket propels something.
    A missile (meaning 1) is something that is propelled by something (an arm, a sling, a bow, ...). A missile (meaning 2) is a missile (meaning 1) propelled by a rocket.

    We call a bow-propelled missile an arrow. The bow is not attached to the arrow and stays behind.
    We call a rocket-propelled missile (meaning 1) a missile (meaning 2). The rocket is attached to the missile(meaning 1) and travels with it to propel it.

    A torpedo is very like a missile (meaning 2) in that it is a weapon and has something that propels it that is part of it. There have been some rocket-propelled torpedoes but they didn't work very well.
    Thanks for your help. What I meant by "comprehensive" information is that the dictionaries does not show much information regarding to military/astronautics usage
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thanks for your help. What I meant by "comprehensive" information is that the dictionaries does not show a lot of information regarding to military/astronautics usage
    By definition, a dictionary is not an encyclopedia or it would be called an encyclopedia. All the information needed to distinguish a missile (meaning 1 and meaning 2) from a rocket is there. We're not trying to build a missile.
    From the dictionary definitions alone, we can find out that:
    a missile is a weapon propelled by something
    a rocket propels and is not a weapon
    There's the difference.
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    By definition, a dictionary is not an encyclopedia or it would be called an encyclopedia. All the information needed to distinguish a missile (meaning 1 and meaning 2) from a rocket is there. We're not trying to build a missile.
    From the dictionary definitions alone, we can find out that:
    a missile is a weapon propelled by something
    a rocket propels and is not a weapon
    There's the difference.
    Well, a rocket can actually be "a weapon".

    According to Wikipedia:
    In military usage, munitions projected towards a target are broadly categorised as follows

    • A powered, guided munition that travels through the air or space known as a missile (or guided missile).
    • A powered, unguided munition is known as a rocket.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    What do you still not understand?
    What is the difference between a rocket and a missile? Is a missile a rocket?
    Question 1. "Rocket" refers to a means of propulsion. A missile is a weapon that travels away from the person using it.
    Question 2. See answer to Question 1.

    Rockets do not exist solely in a military context. Neither do missiles. A lit firework rocket pushed through a letterbox in an act of arson is not a missile, but it is a weapon. A stone thrown by one small boy at another small boy is a missile.

    You have not yet provided a complete sentence or the context in which you want to use "rocket" or "missile". This thread could be endless until you do.
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    What do you still not understand?

    Question 1. "Rocket" refers to a means of propulsion. A missile is a weapon that travels away from the person using it.
    Question 2. See answer to Question 1.

    Rockets do not exist solely in a military context. Neither do missiles. A lit firework rocket pushed through a letterbox in an act of arson is not a missile, but it is a weapon. A stone thrown by one small boy at another small boy is a missile.

    You have not yet provided a complete sentence or the context in which you want to use "rocket" or "missile". This thread could be endless until you do.
    I already understand the difference between rocket and missile, but I'm saying that a rocket can actually be a weapon in MILITARY USAGE. Also, some missiles can be called "rockets". According to Oxford Dictionaries, a rocket can be "An elongated rocket-propelled missile or spacecraft". According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, a rocket can be "a rocket-propelled bomb, missile, projectile, or vehicle". According to Collins Dictionary, a rocket can be "a missile containing explosive that is powered by gas". So a missile can actually be a "rocket". However, in military usage, a missile is a guided munition and a rocket is an unguided munition.

    Also, I don't want to use rocket/missile in a sentence. I just wanted to know the difference between them since sometimes the same projectile is called "rocket" by some and "missile" by others.
     
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    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    What do you still not understand?

    Question 1. "Rocket" refers to a means of propulsion. A missile is a weapon that travels away from the person using it.
    Question 2. See answer to Question 1.

    Rockets do not exist solely in a military context. Neither do missiles. A lit firework rocket pushed through a letterbox in an act of arson is not a missile, but it is a weapon. A stone thrown by one small boy at another small boy is a missile.

    You have not yet provided a complete sentence or the context in which you want to use "rocket" or "missile". This thread could be endless until you do.
    Here is some context.

    A "Homing Launcher" is a weapon in one of the games that I play. It works like a Rocket Launcher, but it uses Homing Missiles instead. According to the game, it's an "Infrared and guided fire-and-forget missile launcher". However, the game also says that "it can carry only 10 rockets instead of 20 unlike the normal Rocket Launcher." As you can see the terms rocket/missile were used interchangeably in that context. This confuses me because the projectiles fired by the weapon were initially called "missiles", and then the game called them "rockets".

    Can you help me with this, please?

    Thanks in advance!
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    A "Homing Launcher" is a weapon in one of the games that I play. It works like a Rocket Launcher, but it uses Homing Missiles instead. According to the game, it's an "Infrared and guided fire-and-forget missile launcher". However, the game also says that "it can carry only 10 rockets instead of 20 unlike the normal Rocket Launcher." As you can see the terms rocket/missile were used interchangeably in that context. This confuses me because the projectiles fired by the weapon were initially called "missiles", and then the game called them "rockets".
    What game is it? Many games are made by foreign companies and poorly translated. Even games made by native speakers are often not good sources of grammar or information. Game makers are not English professors. ;)

    "Homing Launcher" is wrong. It's not the launcher that does any "homing." If it launches Homing Missiles, it should be a Homing Missile Launcher.
    Don't get to involved in what games that use poor English say. I recently played a Russian game that translated "humanoid" as "puppets" - if you were supposed to kill 10 elves or goblins (intelligent creatures with two arms and two legs like people), it would say "Kill 15 puppets."
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Here is some context.

    A "Homing Launcher" is a weapon in one of the games that I play. It works like a Rocket Launcher, but it uses Homing Missiles instead. According to the game, it's an "Infrared and guided fire-and-forget missile launcher". However, the game also says that "it can carry only 10 rockets instead of 20 unlike the normal Rocket Launcher." As you can see the terms rocket/missile were used interchangeably in that context. This confuses me because the projectiles fired by the weapon were initially called "missiles", and then the game called them "rockets".

    Can you help me with this, please?

    Thanks in advance!
    You should have provided that context in the first post - it would have saved a lot of time and effort by you and others:(

    That description gives enough context for you to understand clearly what the weapon system does. As you have noted, the creators of the game dialogue/text also clearly use missile and rocket interchangeably IN THAT CONTEXT. Now you know (and already knew:)), the creators use them to mean the same thing. All of the dictionaries and helpful posts above have relentlessly explained the normal distinction that is made between the two words. That has been ignored by the creators of the game.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The word "rocket" does nothing more than describe how the missile is pushed through the air. In your game the "rocket launcher" fires rockets that have no guidance system. The "homing launcher" fires rockets that do have a guidance system - presumably you have some means of marking the target (an infrared laser?) - once the rocket is fired, it has its own means of steering itself to the target (hence "fire and forget"). The two weapons are both missiles (they are weapons that are "thrown") and they are both rockets (they use rocket motors). I wouldn't worry about the slightly odd "homing launcher" - it just means "homing missile launcher" or "homing rocket launcher".

    A bit of unguided cross-posting going on, I see. :)
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    The word "rocket" does nothing more than describe how the missile is pushed through the air. In your game the "rocket launcher" fires rockets that have no guidance system. The "homing launcher" fires rockets that do have a guidance system - presumably you have some means of marking the target (an infrared laser?) - once the rocket is fired, it has its own means of steering itself to the target (hence "fire and forget"). The two weapons are both missiles (they are weapons that are "thrown") and they are both rockets (they use rocket motors). I wouldn't worry about the slightly odd "homing launcher" - it just means "homing missile launcher" or "homing rocket launcher".

    A bit of unguided cross-posting going on, I see. :)
    Then "rocket" and "missile" mean the same thing in that context, right?
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    What game is it? Many games are made by foreign companies and poorly translated. Even games made by native speakers are often not good sources of grammar or information. Game makers are not English professors. ;)

    "Homing Launcher" is wrong. It's not the launcher that does any "homing." If it launches Homing Missiles, it should be a Homing Missile Launcher.
    Don't get to involved in what games that use poor English say. I recently played a Russian game that translated "humanoid" as "puppets" - if you were supposed to kill 10 elves or goblins (intelligent creatures with two arms and two legs like people), it would say "Kill 15 puppets."
    The name of the game is "Grand Theft Auto V"
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    What game is it? Many games are made by foreign companies and poorly translated. Even games made by native speakers are often not good sources of grammar or information. Game makers are not English professors. ;)

    "Homing Launcher" is wrong. It's not the launcher that does any "homing." If it launches Homing Missiles, it should be a Homing Missile Launcher.
    Don't get to involved in what games that use poor English say. I recently played a Russian game that translated "humanoid" as "puppets" - if you were supposed to kill 10 elves or goblins (intelligent creatures with two arms and two legs like people), it would say "Kill 15 puppets."
    Also, if you search for "homing launcher" on Google, the first result is most likely going to be related to the game.
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    The word "rocket" does nothing more than describe how the missile is pushed through the air. In your game the "rocket launcher" fires rockets that have no guidance system. The "homing launcher" fires rockets that do have a guidance system - presumably you have some means of marking the target (an infrared laser?) - once the rocket is fired, it has its own means of steering itself to the target (hence "fire and forget"). The two weapons are both missiles (they are weapons that are "thrown") and they are both rockets (they use rocket motors). I wouldn't worry about the slightly odd "homing launcher" - it just means "homing missile launcher" or "homing rocket launcher".

    A bit of unguided cross-posting going on, I see. :)
    There is one more thing I forgot to say: the "homing launcher" can also fire missiles without any guidance.
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    That is more evidence to the point that it is just a "launcher" and has nothing to do with "homing" itself.
    Well, it has something to do with "homing" because it targets ground and air vehicles, and the missiles follow the target, but you can fire the projectiles using the lock-on option or the non-lock-on option.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No, "homing" is what the missiles do. Tracking the missile is not "homing."
    It's a (non-homing and homing missile) launcher. It's just a fancy launcher.
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Brazilian Portuguese
    No, "homing" is what the missiles do. Tracking the missile is not "homing."
    It's a (non-homing and homing missile) launcher. It's just a fancy launcher.
    Also, there are people that call it "Homing Rocket Launcher" or "Homing Missile Launcher" instead of the original name, making the context clearer in my opinion.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Also, I replaced the word "track" for "target" in my post.
    Setting the missile's target is also not "homing". Finding/following the target is "homing."

    I worked on a game where you guided the missile from the launcher like flying a drone based on the camera in the drone. That's not homing either.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    This thread has probably gone as far as it is going to go.

    It is not clear what the purpose of your question is. You seem to reject people's best efforts to help you, even the efforts of people who are better informed than most of us are about the topic and context you are asking about. Perhaps your question would be better posted in a forum devoted to gaming. Alternatively, if you search the internet for 'forum rockets missiles' the results include that discuss the technical aspects of these devices.

    This thread is closed.

    Cagey,
    moderator
     
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