The first phase of the ExoMars mission, a joint project between the European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency designed to search for alien life on Mars, kicked off Monday morning.
A robotic probe launched from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9:31 GMT, according to The Guardian. The vessel will circle Mars in hopes of discovering the origin of methane gas that has been found on the planet. Sensors built into the spacecraft will help scientists scan for complex hydrocarbons or sulfur dioxide to determine if the methane comes from inorganic or organic sources like potential alien microbes.
The rocket is said to reach Mars in seven months. A six-wheeled rover is scheduled for launch in 2018.
Watch the probe take-off below.