EscaPADE (Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers) by the University of California, Berkeley, is a twin-spacecraft Mars orbiter mission to study the structure, composition, variability and dynamics of Mars’ magnetosphere and atmospheric escape processes.
EscaPADE's science goals are:
EscaPADE will measure magnetic field strength and topology, ion plasma distributions (separated into light and heavy masses), as well as suprathermal electron flows and thermal electron and ion densities from elliptical, 200 km × ~7000 km orbits.
The twin spacecraft will travel to Mars via solar electric propulsion as a rideshare with the Psyche metal-asteroid mission in August 2022, matching Mars’ heliocentric orbit until capture and spiral-down to science orbits.
The two spaceprobes were originally to be launched in 2022 as secondary payloads on a Falcon-Heavy (Block 5) together with the Psyche and Janus missions. In September 2020 EscaPADE was removed from this launch, due to trouble getting the trajectory needs of all three passengers to work out together and EscaPADE would need to be redesigned with a larger propulsion system. EscaPADE will be re-manifested on an other launch.
|Type / Application:||Mars orbiter|
|Operator:||University of California, Berkeley; NASA|
|Power:||Solar arrays, batteries|
|Lifetime:||1 year science mission|
|Mass:||< 90 kg|
|Orbit:||Heliocentric, then 200 km × 700 km, 60° Mars orbit|
|EscaPADE A (SIMPLEx 4A)||-||202x||with ?, EscaPADE B|
|EscaPADE B (SIMPLEx 4B)||-||202x||with ?, EscaPADE A|