European-Russian spacecraft blasts off in search of life on Mars
Mar 17, 2016 Europe and Russia recently launched a spacecraft in a joint mission to Mars. The project, which is aimed at seeking out any trace of life on the planet, will bring humans a step closer to flying to the red planet.
The craft, which is part of the ExoMars program, blasted off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan on board a Proton rocket.
It carries an atmospheric probe that is to study trace gases such as methane, an essential life-supporting chemical which previous Mars missions have detected in the planet’s atmosphere.
Also, the craft will deploy a lander that will test technologies needed for a rover due to follow in 2018.
According to the European Space Agency, the cost of the ExoMars mission, including the second part due in 2018, is expected to be about 1.3 billion euros.