Extreme-ultraviolet Stellar Characterization for Atmospheric Physics and Evolution mission: motivation and overview

Kevin France, Brian Fleming, Allison Youngblood, James Mason, Jeremy J. Drake, Ute V. Amerstorfer, Martin Barstow, Vincent Bourrier, Patrick Champey, Luca Fossati, Cynthia S. Froning, James C. Green, Fabien Grisé, Guillaume Gronoff, Timothy Hellickson, Meng Jin, Tommi T. Koskinen, Adam F. Kowalski, Nicholas Kruczek, Jeffrey L. LinskySarah J. Lipscy, Randall L. McEntaffer, David E. McKenzie, Drew M. Miles, Tom Patton, Sabrina Savage, Oswald Siegmund, Constance Spittler, Bryce W. Unruh, Máire Volz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The Extreme-ultraviolet Stellar Characterization for Atmospheric Physics and Evolution (ESCAPE) mission is an astrophysics Small Explorer employing ultraviolet spectroscopy (EUV: 80 to 825 Å and FUV: 1280 to 1650 Å) to explore the high-energy radiation environment in the habitable zones around nearby stars. ESCAPE provides the first comprehensive study of the stellar EUV and coronal mass ejection environments that directly impact the habitability of rocky exoplanets. In a 20-month science mission, ESCAPE will provide the essential stellar characterization to identify exoplanetary systems most conducive to habitability and provide a roadmap for NASA's future life-finder missions. ESCAPE accomplishes this goal with roughly two-order-of-magnitude gains in EUV efficiency over previous missions. ESCAPE employs a grazing incidence telescope that feeds an EUV and FUV spectrograph. The ESCAPE science instrument builds on previous ultraviolet and x-ray instrumentation, grazing incidence optical systems, and photon-counting ultraviolet detectors used on NASA astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science missions. The ESCAPE spacecraft bus is the versatile and high-heritage Ball Aerospace BCP-Small spacecraft. Data archives will be housed at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number014006
JournalJournal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • exoplanets
  • extreme ultraviolet
  • flares and coronal mass ejections
  • small explorer
  • spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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