A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket rose from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 41 in Florida at 1:28 p.m. ET, carrying the probe into space to kick off its $671 million mission.
If all goes according to schedule, the bus-sized, 2.7-ton spacecraft will enter Martian orbit next September to study the Red Planet's upper atmosphere over the course of at least one Earth year.
Read More: http://nbcnews.to/1gYLClM
Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.