Oh, I don't know. At no time in the episode do they talk about "launching" the pod. But they do say "jettison" ten times--and the button on Kirk's chair reads "Jettison Pod." From a semantic standpoint, I'm pretty familiar with what "jettison" means versus what "launch" means--and I think Kirk was being accused of jettisoning
the pod prematurely, not launching
it prematurely. I think the writer was probably familiar with the meanings of these two different words, too, and used the one he actually meant. What a simple matter it would have been to use the word "launch"--if that had actually been the functionality that the writer intended to convey. Or, for that matter, he would have called it a probe instead of a "pod."