Are you ready for finding life on Mars?

Team WOWRAL Mar 14, 2016

....and we are ready to take off to Mars!

....and we are ready to take off to Mars!

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) are ready to send a robotic probe to Mars today to find if the planet has any traces of life.

The mission is named "ExoMars 2016 and is set to launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Russian Proton rocket at around 3 p.m., initiating a seven-month journey to the Red Planet.

The first stage of the mission will consist of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli lander -- an entry, descent and landing demonstrator. This will make a thorough account of Mars' atmospheric gases, with distinctive concentration on rare gases like methane, which means that there is an energetic, current source.

"TGO aims to measure its geographical and seasonal dependence and help to determine whether it stems from a geological or biological source," the ESA told.

In the mean time, Schiaparelli will exhibit a range of technologies to facilitate a controlled landing on Mars in preparation for future missions.

After a seven-month cruise, the lander will separate from the TGO on October 16 and land on Mars on October 19 for several days of activities. TGO will then enter orbit around the Red Planet ahead of its exciting multi-year science mission. It will also serve as a data relay for the second ExoMars mission, comprising a rover and a surface science platform, planned for launch in 2018. It will also provide data relay for NASA rovers.

"It's a milestone that caps off several years of preparation for any complex mission - designing, building and testing the ground systems, preparing the flight operations procedures and then finally an intensive period of team training," said Paolo Ferri, head of mission operations.

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