Ballistics (gr. βάλλειν ('ba'llein'), "throw") is the science of mechanics that deals with the flight, behavior, and effects of projectiles, especially bullets, gravity bombs, rockets, or the like; the science or art of designing and accelerating projectiles so as to achieve a desired performance.

A ballistic body is a body which is free to move, behave, and be modified in appearance, contour, or texture by ambient conditions, substances, or forces, as by the pressure of gases in a gun or propulsive nozzle, by rifling in a barrel, by gravity, by temperature, or by air particles.

A ballistic missile is a missile only guided during the relatively brief initial powered phase of flight, whose trajectory is subsequently governed by the laws of classical mechanics. Modern inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), contain a maneuverable orbiting bus that positions and releases ballistic warheads in space using celestial navigation.

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