ExoMars mission blasts off to Mars

A spaceship named the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter has been launched by Europe and Russia to try to answer one of the most burning questions of space exploration - is there life on Mars?

The craft lifted off from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan onboard a Proton rocket at 9.31am (GMT), starting a seven-month journey through space.

A key aim of the mission is to find out if a gas, called methane, which has been found around the planet is a sign that there could be life on Mars.

The ExoMars probe and orbiter are carrying lots of scientific equipment designed to test for the presence of life-forms.