ESCAPADE Mars Mission
Advanced Space, a trailblazer in space tech solutions, and the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) join forces to unlock the mysteries of Mars. The spotlight is on NASA’s Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE) mission, where UC Berkeley takes the helm in managing and orchestrating groundbreaking operations. ESCAPADE, a stellar component of NASA’s Small Innovative Missions for Planetary Exploration (SIMPLEx) program, promises to rewrite the narrative of space exploration. Two nimble spacecraft named BLUE and GOLD, developed by the ingenious minds at Advanced Space, hitch a ride on a Blue Origin New Glenn rocket set to launch into the cosmic unknown in late 2024. Come September 2025, they’ll execute the first-ever duo in orbit around the enigmatic Mars.
The 11-month primary science mission encompasses two distinct campaigns that will unravel the secrets of Mars’ atmosphere and its celestial dance with the space environment. Advanced Space’s cutting-edge technology becomes the guiding force, ensuring the success of ESCAPADE. From mission design intricacies to navigating the interplanetary cruise and orbital strategy, their innovations push the boundaries of space exploration. Behind the scenes UC Berkeley, Rocket Lab, Blue Origin, and NASA all play integral roles. Dr. Jeffrey Parker, CTO of Advanced Space and ESCAPADE mission design lead, shares the mission’s ethos: pushing the envelope of innovation while maintaining sustainability for future cosmic endeavors. This isn’t just another mission; ESCAPADE is poised to redefine the norms of high-capability scientific missions, all while adhering to a fraction of the cost of previous Mars orbiters. It’s a cosmic rendezvous where the stars align, setting the stage for an era of limitless possibilities in space exploration.