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To make launch weapons with further range, higher energy density, better target accuracy, and better control ability are the aims pursued by people for many years. This paper divides the history of launch technology into four stages, which are the biologic, mechanical, chemical, and electromagnetic launch stages. The development trend of the launch technology is discussed, particularly the advantages of the electromagnetic launch (EML) technology. Recently, China has paid great attention to many new technical fields, such as the EML technology. China's programs are mainly confined to fields of basic research, which are collected together in this paper. However, the numbers of papers published from the 12th symposium to the 16th symposium suggest that there are more and more programs in the EML field.