In spaceflight, a launch vehicle or carrier rocket is a rocket used to carry a payload from the Earth's surface into outer space.

Launch systemEdit

A launch system includes the launch vehicle, the launch pad and other infrastructure. It places the system in orbital trajectory.

A launch vehicle which carries its payload on a suborbital trajectory is often called a sounding rocket.


Usually the payload is an artificial satellite placed into orbit, but some spaceflights are sub-orbital while others enable spacecraft to escape Earth orbit entirely.

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