The act of propelling a space vehicle through the atmosphere and into space. This normally involves rockets, a satellite or space probe, and the payloads on board the spacecraft. Although a launch begins with lift-off, months are spent on pre-launch activities.
http://www.fas.org/spp/guide/usa/launch/ Part of the World Space Guide, this site includes statistics and a history of the USA's launch systems. Each spacecraft description is accompanied by a simple diagram or photograph.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.