Great American Spotlight-Dr. Farouk El-Baz

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FAROUK EL BAZ – NASA Scientist and Lunar Astronauts Trainer.


Dr. Farouk El-Baz is an Arab-American born in Egypt who became an acclaimed space scientist with NASA. He planned the scientific exploration of the moon by selecting landing sites and training lunar astronauts, particularly for the Apollo 11 landing in 1969, and the Apollo 15 “rover mission” in 1971; that’s when Apollo 15 Astronaut Alfred Worden exclaimed while orbiting the moon that: “After the King’s [Farouk’s nickname] training, I feel like I’ve been here before.” In the HBO documentary series “From the Earth to the Moon,” actor Tom Hanks narrated a segment entitled “The Brain of Farouk El-Baz.” Dr. El-Baz was the “voice of NASA” to the media on myriad lunar missions.

In fact, a shuttle craft named “El-Baz” was featured in the TV program Star Trek – The Next Generation.

Today, Dr. El-Baz is Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University. He has chaired committees such as the U.S. National Committee for Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences. He has won numerous honors including NASA’s Apollo Achievement Award.

He is listed by the Carnegie Corporation as “Great Immigrants-The Pride of America” (