The ESA Is Launching A New Mars Mission TODAY – Watch It Live

March 14, 2016 | by Jonathan O’Callaghan

photo credit: Artist’s impression of the spacecraft in orbit. ESA/ATG medialab

The first part of a joint European-Russian mission to Mars successfully launched today at 5.31 a.m. EST (9.31 a.m. GMT), and will arrive at Mars on October 19. The hugely exciting mission, called ExoMars, will ultimately be one of the most advanced searches for life on the Red Planet yet.

The launch took place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Russian Proton rocket. On board are two components of the ExoMars mission – the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the ambitious Schiaparelli lander. The second part of the mission, which will include a rover to hunt for signs of life on Mars, is scheduled to launch in 2018.

“We are both proud and excited to have met the challenge of delivering ExoMars on time for its ‘rendez-vous’ with the Red Planet,” said Walter Cugno, ExoMars program director, in a statement.

full post at IFLScience