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A missile is an object propelled, usually artificially, in a manner against the force of gravity. That is, an object launched laterally across the earth's surface, or directly up, is a missile, but one dropped to act in accord with gravity is not.

While the term "missile" carries the connotation of warfare, the definition compasses more benign uses as well: missile technology is the foundation of the modern space program, which has led to space travel.

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