The ESCAPE mission overview: Exploring the stellar drivers of exoplanet habitability

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The Extreme-ultraviolet Stellar Characterization for Atmospheric Physics and Evolution (ESCAPE) mission is an astrophysics Small Explorer employing ultraviolet spectroscopy (EUV: 80-825 Å and FUV: 1280-1650 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 which 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 NASAs 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 (MAST). ESCAPE is currently completing a NASA Phase A study, and if selected for Phase B development would launch in 2025.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXII
EditorsOswald H. Siegmund
ISBN (Electronic)9781510644809
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXII 2021 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2021Aug 5 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXII 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • EUV
  • Exoplanets
  • Flares and CMEs
  • Small Explorer
  • Spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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