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In this image, a handful of the many guests watching the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launch stand near the shore of the Banana River that separates the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station from Kennedy Space Center.  Most people are holding up cameras to capture the moment.  In the center of the image is the rocket lifting from its pad.  From this distance (a few miles), the rocket looks like a thin line in the sky with orange fire spitting from the bottom.  Smoke billows on the ground around the launch pad.
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Friends and Family Watch Launch

A crowd of about one thousand friends and family members of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter team watch as the spacecraft lifts off atop its Atlas V rocket.

Credit: NASA/JPL

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