ESCAPADE (Demo Flight)

Launch Time
NET December, 2024

Inaugural flight of New Glenn rocket and Blue Origin's first orbital flight.


New Glenn
Image Credit: Blue Origin
Blue Origin
Status: Planned
Liftoff Thrust: 17,150 kN
Payload to LEO: 45,000 kg
Payload to GTO: 13,000 kg
Stages: 2
Strap-ons: 0
Rocket Height: 98.0 m
Fairing Diameter: 7.0 m
Fairing Height: 21.9 m

Mission Details


The Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (EscaPADE) are a dual-spacecraft mission to study ion and sputtered escape from Mars. The two identical spacecraft were scheduled for launch as secondary satellites on the Psyche mission in August 2022 but were removed due to problems with the required trajectory. The science goals of the mission are to: understand the processes controlling the structure of Mars' hybrid magnetosphere and how it guides ion flows; understand how energy and momentum are transported from the solar wind through Mars' magnetosphere; and understand the processes controlling the flow of energy and matter into and out of the collisional atmosphere. EscaPADE is part of the NASA Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) program.

Each identical EscaPADE spacecraft has a mass under 90 kg. The spacecraft bus is 60 x 70 x 90 cm. The spacecraft is powered by two 480 x 70 cm solar panel wings extending from opposite sides of the spacecraft. These charge batteries and power the solar-electric propulsion system. Cold gas thrusters are used to maintain orientation. Communications are in X-band via a 60 cm diameter dish antenna. A 90 cm boom extends above the spacecraft, holding some of the science instruments.

There are three science experiments onboard each spacecraft, EMAG, EESA, and ELP. EMAG is a magnetometer measuring DC magnetic fields up to 1000 nT, mounted at the end and part way up the boom. EESA is an electrostatic analyzer that measures suprathermal ions from 2 eV to 20 keV and suprathermal electrons from 3 eV to 10 keV. It is mounted on the upper deck of the spacecraft bus. ELP is a Langmuir probe measuring plasma density from 20 - 30,000 particles per cubic cm and solar EUV flux from 5 - 20 milliwatts per square meter and is mounted on the boom and on the spacecraft bus.

The two spacecraft will be taken to Mars orbit with Rocket Lab's Photon spacecraft.

Payloads: 2
Total Mass: 180.0 kg
Heliocentric Orbit


LC-36, Cape Canaveral SFS, Florida, USA