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This image is a view of Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  The large Atlas V rocket that will carry the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter through Earth's atmosphere sits tall and majestic against a light blue sky blotted with very faint white clouds.  The lower stage of the rocket (closest to the ground) is half copper-colored and half white.  The upper stage, which is roughly half the size of the lower stage, is white and gold.  White smoke billows from the adaptor area where the stages meet as the 'wet dress rehearsal' is conducted.  To the left and right of the rocket sit two large towers that serve as lightning rods to protect the rocket and spacecraft from strikes.
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Practice, Practice, Practice: 'Wet Dress Rehearsal'

The launch services team at Kennedy Space Center conducted an all-important "wet dress rehearsal" for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission in mid-July, 2005.

During the rehearsal, the Atlas V rocket was fired. Pre-liftoff operations were conducted and the rocket's engine was fueled.

The launch of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is scheduled for Aug. 10, 2005. Launch of the spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket will be from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Credit: NASA

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