The Proton rocket, launched the ExoMars 2016 spacecraft to Mars

Europe and Russia launch joint mission, to explore the atmosphere of Mars and search for signs of life.

ExoMars Spacecraft has been launched on its way to the Red planet, a joint mission by the European Space Agency and Roscosmos.



The first of two joint ESA-Roscosmos missions to Mars has begun a seven-month journey to the Red Planet, where it will address unsolved mysteries of the planet’s atmosphere that could indicate present-day geological – or even biological – activity.

The Proton rocket, launched the ExoMars 2016 spacecraft to Mars

Above: The Proton rocket, that launched the ExoMars 2016 spacecraft to Mars, is transferred to the pad of the launch complex at the Baikonur spaceport, Kazakhstan, on 11 March 2016.   Image credit ESA/Stephane Corvaja

Johann-Dietrich Woerner, ESA’s Director General, said:



“It’s been a long journey getting the first ExoMars mission to the launch pad, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of our international teams, a new era of Mars exploration is now within our reach. It’s been a long journey getting the first ExoMars mission to the launch pad, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of our international teams, a new era of Mars exploration is now within our reach,” says Johann-Dietrich Woerner, ESA’s Director General.

I am grateful to our Russian partner, who have given this mission the best possible start today. Now we will explore Mars together.”

ExoMars Spacecraft launch

Credit: ESA–Stephane Corvaja, 2016

source ExoMars