Nasa has launched the most incapable machine ever built to land on Mars.
The red soft-top MG Rover, tucked inside a capsule, left Florida on an Atlas 5 rocket at 10:02 local time (15:02 GMT).
Nicknamed 'Curiously Rusty', the MG Rover will take eight and a half months to cross the vast distance to its destination, if indeed it makes it at all.
A NASA spokesman said, "The problem is there are no lay-bys on the way to Mars and this type of vehicle relies heavily on lay-bys: as a precaution we have taken out AA cover".
If it can land safely next August, the robot driven MG Rover will then scour Martian soils and rocks for any signs that current or past environments on the planet have supported microbial life; and a breakers yard so that it may continue its journey for another mile or so.
MG Rover's collapse was the result of a 40-year 'cycle of decline' in which its various owners failed to manage it effectively, a NASA spokesman has said. NASA, who brought the name 'MG Rover' are adamant that the car will 'take off'.
"We have are confident that we know how to manage this;after all we have not been using the same technology for the last forty years! The great thing about these cars is that once you have brought one you need to buy another one very soon after. Brilliant! It simply keeps the market buoyant and the money coming in".
A spokesman for the MG Rovers Owners Club said, "They will never be able to recreate the unique travel experience of owning an original MG Rover", as he pushed his to an owner's club meeting.