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Amanda M. Cook

Affiliation: SSA/SST, Contractor with Millennium Engineering & Integration

Amanda Cook

Phone: 650-604-2831


Title: Instrument Scientist and Project Engineer

Read Amanda Cook‘s interview

Professional Biography:

Dr. Cook is a scientist and engineer at NASA Ames Research Center. Most recently, Dr. Cook has served as the integration and testing lead for the Near-IR Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS) on the Resource Prospector (RP) lunar rover mission. The NIRVSS system includes two NIR spectrometers, a high-resolution camera with an 8 color LED system, and four long-wavelength radiometers. Dr. Cook is responsible for testing and validating all instrument subsystems, including assessing performance parameters such as field of view, resolution, dynamic range, and wavelength-dependent radiance response. She also has orchestrated 10+ environmental test campaigns for NIRVSS and other instruments, since 2013. Cook is also a member of the LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) Science Team, and has recently published results on the discovery of a nanodust exosphere around the moon. Dr. Cook has experience with mission design and concept studies through JPL’s Planetary Science Summer School, NASA Ames’ 6-month Project Excellence (APEX) Incubator Course, and multiple mission and instrument proposals.  This training led to receiving funding to mature the Aeolus mission concept in 2017.  Aeolus is a mission to study the wind and thermal environment of Mars.


Ph.D. Astrochemistry, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

M.S. Physics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

B.A. Astrophysics, Connecticut College

Research Interests: 

Instrument development, mission concept development, UV/Vis/IR spectroscopy, lunar resources, astrobiology, planetary exospheres.

Select Publications:

Wooden, D.H., Cook, A.M., Colaprete, A., and 3 co-authors, Evidence for a dynamic nanodust cloud enveloping the moon, Nature Geoscience, 9, 665 (2016).

Colaprete, A., Sarantos, M., Wooden, D.H., Stubbs, T.J., Cook, A.M., Shirley, M.H. How surface composition and meteoroid impacts mediate sodium and potassium in the lunar exosphere. Science, 351, 6270 (2015).

Cook, A.M., Mattioda, A.L., and 7 co-authors, The Organism/Organic Exposure to Orbital Stresses (O/OREOS) Satellite: Radiation Exposure in Low-Earth Orbit and Supporting Laboratory Studies of Iron Tetraphenylporphyrin Chloride, Astrobiology, 14 (2014).

Accepted Proposals:

Aeolus: A Mission to Study the Wind and Thermal Environment of Mars (PSDS3 Concept Study)

NASA Missions:

O/OREOS, LADEE, Resource Prospector

Awards & Others: 

2018 Outstanding Early Career Space Scientist