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liftoff (n.) also lift-off, "vertical take-off of a rocket, etc.," 1956, American English, from the verbal phrase, from lift (v.) + off (adv.). Earlier, of aircraft, simply lift (1879). Figurative use from 1967.
launch (n.1) "a leap or a bound," mid-15c., from launch (v.). Meaning "place where a boat is launched" is from 1711. Meaning "the liftoff of a missile, spacecraft, etc." is from 1935. Launch pad attested from 1960.