An instrument designed to sniff for signs of life on Mars successfully lifted off from the the Russian-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday and zoomed out of Earth orbit.
The launch marked the beginning of ExoMars, a joint mission between Europe and Russia.
The Trace Gas Orbiter on board the Proton rocket will sniff for methane from the Martian orbit.
Meanwhile, a lander will drop from the spacecraft and land on the planet's surface, a trial run ahead of the mission's second stage due in 2018, when a European rover will drill for signs of life.
Read more about the mission – ExoMars set to sniff out life on the Red Planet – and watch the launch below:
Belinda Smith is a science and technology journalist in Melbourne, Australia.
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