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 21 month science mission, ESCAPE will provide the essential stellar characterization to identify exoplanetary systems most conducive to habitability and provide a roadmap for 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, building on experience with ultraviolet and X-ray instrumentation, grazing incidence optical systems, and photon-counting ultraviolet detectors. The instrument builds on design and hardware heritage from numerous NASA UV astrophysics, heliophysics, and planetary science missions. The ESCAPE spacecraft bus is the versatile and high-heritage Ball Aerospace BCP-Small spacecraft. Data archives are housed at the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST).