During his scientific career, Dr. Sandford has worked in the fields of seismology, medium energy particle physics, biophysics, meteoritics, infrared astronomy, and laboratory astrophysics/astrochemistry/astrobiology. As a scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, (1986-present) Dr. Sandford authored and co-authored many successful grants and over 175 peer reviewed research papers. As a member of the Astrophysics and Astrochemistry Laboratory at NASA-Ames, he has over 25 years experience with the study of meteorites and other extraterrestrial samples, ice photochemistry, and the interpretation of astrophysical infrared data. Much of his research work is focused on the formation and evolution of organics in astrophysical environments.
Dr. Sandford is heavily involved in space mission work, particularly infrared spectrometry missions and missions associated with sample return. He was a Co-Investigator on NASA’s Stardust Comet Sample Return Mission and JAXA’s Hayabusa Asteroid Sample Return Mission. He is currently a Co-Investigator on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Asteroids Sample Return Mission and is leading an effort to plan for potential future comet sample return missions. He has also served as the Principal Investigatory on a number of airborne and space borne observatory concepts.
Dr. Sandford regularly serves on NASA Review Panels and has served as an Associate Editor for the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science since 1995.
B.S. in Math and Physics, 1978, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology
M.A. in Physics, 1981, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Ph.D. in Physics, 1985, Washington University, St. Louis, MO