Alexander "Sandy" Antunes, (born 1967 in Baltimore, Maryland) is a Maryland-area astronomer, author, and role playing game designer. He graduated from Boston University in 1989 with a dual major in astronomy and physics, received a Masters in astronomy from Penn State in 1992, and received his PhD in computational astrophysics from George Mason University in 2005. He is an associate professor of Astronautical Engineering at Capitol Technology University.
Antunes has been published in numerous journal articles, including Science. In his work for NASA, he designed the mission-scheduling software used for XTE, Astro-E2, and Swift missions. He was the science scheduler for the NASA/ISAS ASCA mission from 1992-1994.
Antunes is currently working on Project Calliope, a pico-satellite designed to convert space sensor data to music. Additionally, he has authored three books for O'Reilly Media: DIY Satellite Platforms, Surviving Orbit the DIY Way. and DIY Instruments for Amateur Space He is at work on a fourth book, on DIY Comm and Control for Amateur Space. He was featured on Episode 10, "Space Invaders," of "The Big Picture with Kal Penn" in May 2015, launching a high altitude balloon with his students and explaining what it takes to get into space.
Antunes has been active in the gaming community since 1992. With his wife, Emma, he founded the industry-focused role-playing game website RPGnet in 1996. He has published a monthly column on the business side of gaming since the site's inception. One early column, "The 1K Company" (RPGnet, 1998), continues to receive comments and citations.
Antunes's notable works include Miskatonic University, a supplement for Call of Cthulhu; Rules to Live By (a LARP rule book); Priceless, published by Rogue Publishing; and the Origins Award-nominated A Faery's Tale.
In recent years he has been exploring games that can be played by parents and children, children's games, and family games.
- Sandy Antunes' entry in the Pen & Paper RPG Database
- Sandy Antunes' regular column at rpg.net
- "How to build your own personal satellite: An interview with Sandy Antunes". Stephen Murphey. Retrieved 2012-12-04.
- Digital Library for Physics and Astronomy: Antunes Journal Articles
- Project Calliope Web site
- NPR: DIY Satellites Let You Find Your Own Space
- Antunes, Sandy. DIY Satellite Platforms: Building a Space-ready General Base Picosatellite for any Mission (1st ed.). Farnham: O'Reilly. p. 86. ISBN 978-1-4493-1060-8.
- Antunes, Sandy (2012). Surviving Orbit the DIY Way : testing the limits your satellite can and must match. Farnham: O'Reilly. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-4493-1062-2.
- Antunes, Sandy. DIY Instruments for Amateur Space: Inventing Utility for Your Spacecraft Once It Achieves Orbit (1st ed.). Farnham: O'Reilly. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-4493-1064-6.
- National Geographic site for The Big Picture with Kal Penn
- Origins Award Nominees 2006