J Andy Spry

Andy Spry

Senior Scientist

Disciplines: Biology, Planetary Sciences

Degree/Major: BSc in Biochemistry, PhD in Molecular Toxicology, MBA


Andy’s principal role is as consultant to the NASA Planetary Protection Officer, based in the Washington DC area. He has a broad interest in all aspects of planetary protection (the science of how we explore the solar system without causing harmful contamination, and without causing adverse changes to the Earth by uncontrolled introduction of extraterrestrial material). His current focus is on developing planetary protection approaches for future human missions to Mars and the necessary research and development needed to support policy and decision making.

He has a BSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Molecular Toxicology from the University of Surrey, UK; and a MBA from the UK’s Open University.

Before becoming involved in planetary protection in 2001, he had a 10 year career in life sciences instrumentation development and in medical device sterilization. Andy was the planetary protection manager and aseptic assembly facility manager for ESA’s Beagle2 mission until 2005, and supported or led planetary protection for numerous NASA robotic missions and studies while at JPL, before taking on his current role at SETI in 2015.