Mission to Mars: Launching the search for ET

We have lift off Credit: ITV News Anglia

A rocket has been launched on a mission to find signs of life on Mars.

Europe and Russia launched the spacecraft on a Proton rocket in a joint-mission - ExoMars 2016 - from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan.

On board the rocket is a probe to analyse the atmosphere and a test lander to find out how easy it is to touch down on the surface.

The next mission will carry technology developed at Airbus Defence and Space in Stevenage.

The spacecraft will travel through space for seven-months before reaching the Red Planet.

Click below to watch Stuart Leithes report

Dr Manish Patel of the Open University in Milton Keynes talks about the ExoMars mission.

Find out more about Europe's mission to Mars