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The extreme-ultraviolet stellar characterization for atmospheric physics and evolution (ESCAPE) mission concept
Author(s): Kevin France; Brian T. Fleming; Jeremy J. Drake; James P. Mason; Allison Youngblood; Vincent Bourrier; Luca Fossati; Cynthia S. Froning; Tommi Koskinen; Nicholas Kruczek; Sarah Lipscy; Randall McEntaffer; Suzanne Romaine; Oswald H. W. Siegmund; Erik Wilkinson
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Paper Abstract

The long-term stability of exoplanetary atmospheres depends critically on the extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) flux from the host star. The EUV flux likely controls the demographics of the short-period planet population as well the ability for rocky planets to maintain habitable environments long enough for the emergence of life. We present the Extreme-ultraviolet Stellar Characterization for Atmospheric Physics and Evolution (ESCAPE) mission, an astrophysics Small Explorer proposed to NASA. ESCAPE employs extreme- and far-ultraviolet spectroscopy (70 - 1800 Α) to characterize the highenergy radiation environment in the habitable zones (HZs) around nearby stars. ESCAPE provides the first comprehensive study of the stellar EUV environments that control atmospheric mass-loss and determine the habitability of rocky exoplanets. The ESCAPE instrument comprises an EUV grazing incidence telescope feeding four diffraction gratings and a photon-counting detector. The telescope is 50 cm diameter with four nested parabolic primary mirrors and four nested elliptical secondary mirrors, fabricated and aligned by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. The off-plane grating assemblies are fabricated at Pennsylvania State University and the ESCAPE detector system is a micro-channel plate (MCP; 125mm x 40mm active area) sensor developed by the University of California, Berkeley. ESCAPE employs the versatile and high-heritage Ball Aerospace BCP-100 spacecraft.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2019
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 11118, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI, 1111808 (9 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2526859
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin France, Univ. of Colorado Boulder (United States)
Brian T. Fleming, Univ. of Colorado Boulder (United States)
Jeremy J. Drake, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
James P. Mason, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Allison Youngblood, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Vincent Bourrier, Observatoire de Genève (Switzerland)
Luca Fossati, Institut für Weltraumforschung (Austria)
Cynthia S. Froning, The Univ. of Texas at Austin (United States)
Tommi Koskinen, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Nicholas Kruczek, Lab. for Atmospheric and Space Physics (United States)
Sarah Lipscy, Ball Aerospace (United States)
Randall McEntaffer, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Suzanne Romaine, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
Erik Wilkinson, Ball Aerospace (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11118:
UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
Oswald H. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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