Press Release

NASA Speaker Discusses New Climate Science Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
August 28, 2009
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HAMPTON, Va. The forecast calls for new NASA Earth-observing satellites to more accurately predict climate change for present and future generations.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, NASA’s Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va., will present Stephen Sandford, the director of Langley’s Systems Engineering Directorate at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Sandford is the mission formulation manager for the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory (CLARREO) mission. It is one of NASA’s next major satellite climate science research efforts.

Media who wish to interview Sandford at a news briefing at 1:15 p.m., Tuesday should contact Keith Henry at 864-6120 or by noon for credentials and entry to NASA Langley.

When the National Research Council (NRC) was asked to identify the key scientific questions to focus on Earth and environmental observations in the period 2005-2015 and beyond, the NRC created a “decadal strategy” called The 2007 NRC Decadal Survey report, “Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond.”

As a result, CLARREO was selected to be among the top four of NASA’s “Tier 1” missions and will form the basis for the future climate observing systems. The mission will be able to accurately detect climate changes and provide new knowledge to improve climate model forecasts.

NASA Langley has taken the formulation lead for CLARREO. Sandford will discuss the mission and overall development efforts to date.

Responsible for the management and direction of technology development, space and aeronautical flight systems development, and manufacturing of systems for the Center’s research mission, Sandford joined NASA Langley in 1986. He worked on the system design and several subsystems for the first spaceflight lidar, the Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE) that flew on the Space Shuttle Discovery in September 1994 as part of the STS-64 mission.

A researcher, design engineer, system engineer, and project manager on small and large spaceflight components and systems, Sandford has led and managed both science and engineering organizations at NASA.

Sandford received a Bachelor of Science in physics from Randolph-Macon College; a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia; and a Master of Science in optical science from the University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz.

SpaceRef staff editor.