We present the second data release of the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE), an ambitious spectroscopic survey to measure radial velocities and stellar atmosphere parameters (temperature, metallicity, surface gravity, and rotational velocity) of up to one million stars using the 6 dF multi-object spectrograph on the 1.2 m UK Schmidt Telescope of the Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO). The RAVE program started in 2003, obtaining medium resolution spectra (median R = 7500) in the Ca-triplet region (8410-8795 ) for southern hemisphere stars drawn from the Tycho-2 and SuperCOSMOS catalogues, in the magnitude range 9 < I < 12. Following the first data release, the current release doubles the sample of published radial velocities, now containing 51,829 radial velocities for 49,327 individual stars observed on 141 nights between 2003 April 11 and 2005 March 31. Comparison with external data sets shows that the new data collected since 2004 April 3 show a standard deviation of 1.3 km s-1, about twice as good as for the first data release. For the first time, this data release contains values of stellar parameters from 22,407 spectra of 21,121 individual stars. They were derived by a penalized χ2 method using an extensive grid of synthetic spectra calculated from the latest version of Kurucz stellar atmosphere models. From comparison with external data sets, our conservative estimates of errors of the stellar parameters for a spectrum with an average signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of 40 are 400 K in temperature, 0.5 dex in gravity, and 0.2 dex in metallicity. We note however that, for all three stellar parameters, the internal errors estimated from repeat RAVE observations of 855 stars are at least a factor 2 smaller. We demonstrate that the results show no systematic offsets if compared to values derived from photometry or complementary spectroscopic analyses. The data release includes proper motions from Starnet2, Tycho-2, and UCAC2 catalogs and photometric measurements from Tycho-2 USNO-B, DENIS, and 2MASS. The data release can be accessed via the RAVE Web site: http://www.rave-survey.org and through CDS.