Launch is set in the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and features a Russian Soyuz 2 rocket taking off in the background. At some time during the game, although on average, around the halfway point through the round/match the rocket will launch, and set alight and kill anyone located beneath the rockets engines. In Search and Destroy and Demolition, target A is located under the rocket. The B flag is located under the rocket in Domination.
Launch is very much a vertical map as it is horizontal because it uses the rocket as a large part of the map. When Call of Duty: Black Ops was released, vertical gameplay was not seen very much, although this new map type was used in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in maps such as Rust.
The rocket is scheduled to be launched when the game mode reaches around a half of the score/time limit. Before the rocket launches, one can hear an alarm and someone speaking Russian through a loud speaker, counting down to one in Russian.
The rocket on the map is a Soyuz 11A511.
It is possible to see a second rocket launching at least a minute before or after the one in the map does.
The launch process of the rocket is much less detailed and realistic than in Executive Order.
If one looks at the rocket after it takes off, it simply disappears in a short time.
Additionally, when the clamps on the rocket retract, it will appear that the rocket is hovering in mid-air without support until its engines ignite. This is most easily seen from the bottom of the launch pit or at the top of the rocket via Spectator Mode.
Also unlike the launch in Executive Order, the rocket can not be brought down by anything, including various killstreaks like the Valkyrie Launcher.
If a player is on the platforms next to the rocket, they will be killed when the rocket takes off regardless of the fact that there are walls between the rocket and the platforms.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
The map's description states it to be in "the heart of Russia". This is a continuity error as Launch replicates Baikonur Cosmodrome as shown in the Black Ops campaign mission Executive Order, and the Baikonur Cosmodrome is in Kazakhstan, not Russia.