Farouk El-Baz is an Egyptian American space scientist and geologist, who worked with NASA in the scientific exploration of the Moon and the planning of the Apollo program. Born on January 2, 1938, in the Nile Delta town of Zagazig, Egypt, he was part of NASA’s Apollo 11 ground crew at just 31 years old.
He has referenced his first years in primary school in the Egyptian port city of Damietta, as being where his love of science and the natural world began. Upon moving with his family to Cairo, he studied geology, chemistry, biology, and mathematics, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1958. He later headed to the US where he gained a master’s degree followed by a PhD in geology.
In 1969, as Apollo 11’s lunar module the Eagle made its way to the surface of the Moon Farouk El-Baz, the secretary of the Lunar Landing Site Selection Committee, was in Mission Control.
Currently, El-Baz is a Research Professor and Director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is an Adjunct Professor of Geology at the Faculty of Science, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Geological Society of America Foundation, Boulder, Colorado, and a member of the Board of Directors of CRDF Global.