A vehicle capable of sending a payload into space. The term is mainly used for civilian use rockets.
In general, a launch vehicle, or launcher, has several stages.
Each stage has:
• one or more tanks (fuel and oxidiser) or propellants (powder);
• one or more engines (2 or 4);
• one or more stage adapters (to join the successive stages);
• separation systems.
In addition, a launch vehicle has:
• an equipment bay;
• a payload adapter;
• a fairing, the ejectable front end;
• fins to aerodynamically stabilise the launch vehicle;
• pyrotechnic systems;
• rocket boosters.