Like all space geeks, I love launches.
But while everyone else watches the spacecraft soar into the heavens, I like to watch the reactions on the faces of those watching the spacecraft.
Young or old, they experience a moment of rapture. Nothing else on Earth seems to trigger this feeling of pure ecstasy.
Below are photos of the crowds at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Saturday November 26 during the Mars Science Laboratory launch. The photos were taken in a parking lot next to the Shuttle Launch Experience. A big-screen was set up to watch the launch.
The Atlas V has launched on the big-screen, but it's not yet visible above the tree line to the left of their viewpoint.
The Atlas V emerges from behind the Shuttle Launch Experience.
The guests look skyward. The Atlas V can be seen on the big-screen in the background.
Everyone looks up. As a culture and as a species, we need to do this more often.
The moment of rapture captured for eternity.